Retail & Consumer Service Division
The Retail & Consumer Service Division is focused on a diverse range of businesses that respond to consumer needs both in Japan and overseas, strengthening its functions, including its retail digital transformation and marketing functions. These businesses include food and consumer goods distribution, marine products, shopping center management, and real estate.
Strengths of the Division
- ●Networks and customer bases established over many years throughout Asia
- ●Retail businesses developed to meet the needs of ASEAN countries based on their stage of development
- ●Expertise in management and investment for increasing value of shopping centers
- ●Supply base for food products and consumer goods matched to diversifying lifestyles
- ●Top market share in importing frozen North American beef to Japan
- ●Increase in demand in China, India, and the ASEAN region accompanying an expansion of the middle-income segment due to economic development in these areas
- ●Rising demand for Japanese technologies to improve productivity and to address the higher labor costs that stem from labor shortages
- ●Rising interest in Japan’s food culture (including Japanese cuisine) and diversification of food
- ●Demand in Japanese society for women’s participation in the workforce; demand for talent development and new job/industry creation in Asian countries
- ●Revisions to legal and regulatory systems in Asian countries
- ●Cost increases due to stricter food quality control in Asia
- ●Pressure on earnings from businesses and trading due to drastic fluctuations in foreign exchange rates
- ●Increase in risks related to human rights and environmental issues due to expansion of manufacturing businesses
- ●Shrinkage of market associated with population decline in Japan
- ●Effects of future changes in work and lifestyle habits on the real estate industry
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive slump in consumption around the world. The situation also triggered substantial changes in lifestyles and consumption trends, and it can be considered to be an important turning point that shows consumers’ tastes and needs are becoming more diverse than ever before.
The Retail & Consumer Service Division has continued to develop a diverse range of operations aimed at enriching and bringing convenience to people’s lives with a focus on customer-based businesses in the consumer market. Advancing further in this regard, we will look to grow market-oriented service businesses in order to accommodate diversifying consumer tastes and needs and address changes in industry structures.
In the year ending March 31, 2022, we anticipate a phased recovery in domestic consumer demand from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with earnings growth in ASEAN retail businesses. A major pillar of the Retail & Consumer Service Division’s growth strategies in this year will be the expansion of operations and the augmentation of functions in the ASEAN region, which is expected to continue experiencing economic growth going forward. Moreover, the division will solidify and expand earnings foundations in Vietnam, India, and other emerging markets by reforming existing business models and strengthening and growing earnings foundations through the construction of new business platforms while also strengthening businesses in the domestic retail field.
We are developing retail businesses that meet the needs of ASEAN countries based on their stage of development. Our focus is on developing four businesses in Vietnam: processing and production of prepared food, four-temperature controlled logistics (ambient temperature, fixed temperature, chilled, and frozen), wholesale food and consumer goods, and retail (convenience stores). We are working to improve quality of life by responding to the expectations and interests of local communities.
In addition, through the capital and business tie-up formed with Royal Holdings in February 2021, we aim to develop a more diverse and broader range of businesses catering to consumers in Japan and overseas.
■Shopping Center Management Business
Sojitz Commerce Development Corporation, as the core of the shopping center management business, has continued to utilize its solid track record in operating and improving the value of shopping centers since its founding in 2001. Today, its initiatives draw upon both its accumulated expertise and digital technologies. By contributing to even greater levels of value in shopping centers, we aim to help invigorate local communities through these shopping centers.
In February 2018, we established the marketing company Meat-One, together with multiple companies involved in raw meat procurement and sales, meat processing, and distribution. Meat-One combines the expertise and functions of the participating companies, allowing them to make use of each other’s procurement, production, and sales networks to provide safe, reliable, and delicious processed meat products at competitive prices to consumers in Japan and overseas.
■Domestic Real Estate and J-REIT Businesses
As part of its ownership and development of residential housing, office buildings, hotels, and other real estate, Sojitz has created a value chain encompassing asset management and operation of these assets, and thereby has fostered a balanced earnings foundation.
In addition, we are increasing the total amount of assets under the management of Nippon REIT Investment Corporation, our integrated, listed real estate investment trust, and are improving the quality of its portfolio to expand our stable revenue base. Moreover, we are adopting a dedicated stance toward disciplined investment activities to further expand assets under management.
Four-Temperature Controlled Logistics in Vietnam
New Land Vietnam Japan Joint Stock Company, established in June 2016, provides four-temperature controlled logistics services (product storage, sorting, distribution, etc.) for retailers and manufacturing companies.
We are in the process of building a distribution facility for this company in Southern Vietnam that is roughly three times the size of its current facility in order to further enhance its services. Plans are in place to expand New Land Vietnam Japan’s services to Northern Vietnam in the future in order to help optimize supply chains across Vietnam.