Retail & Consumer Service Division
Focused on a diverse range of business that can respond to consumer needs both in Japan and overseas. These include our food distribution, shopping center management, brand, consumer goods distribution, textile, and real estate businesses.
Strengths of the Division
- ●Networks and customer bases established over many years throughout Asia
- ●Food and retail businesses developed to meet the needs appropriate to each ASEAN country’s development
- ●Expertise in management and investment to increase the value of shopping centers
- ●A supply base of food products and consumer goods suitable for diversifying lifestyles
- ●Top market shares in importing live cattle, horses, and frozen North American beef in Japan
- ●Increase in domestic demand accompanying an expansion of the middle-income segment due to economic development in China and the ASEAN region
- ●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 washoku), and westernization of food
- ●Demand in Japanese society for women‘s participation in the workforce and 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 business/ trading due to drastic fluctuations in foreign exchange rates
- ●Increase in risks related to human rights and the environment issues due to expansion of manufacturing businesses
- ●Shrinkage of market associated with population decline in Japan
- ●The effects of future changes in work and lifestyle habits on the real estate industry
As a result of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and states of emergency were declared worldwide, leading to a sharp drop in consumption. The situation also triggered great changes in lifestyles and consumption trends, and it can be considered to be an important turning point that shows that consumers’ tastes and needs are becoming more diverse than ever before.
The Retail & Consumer Service Division is focused on "customer-based business" in the consumer market, and we will continue to deploy a variety of businesses aimed at creating more prosperous lifestyles and providing greater convenience.
The key elements of our future growth strategy include both expanding businesses, and strengthening the functions we can provide to our customers in the ASEAN region, which is experiencing continued economic growth.
In Vietnam, after entering the food wholesaling business, we are building a food distribution platform that includes four-temperature warehouse businesses, convenience store businesses and daily prepared food businesses. At the same time, we are developing food wholesale businesses in Thailand and Myanmar.
In terms of shopping center management, we have established a business model based on the shift in consumer trends from the tangible (product-oriented) to the intangible (experience-oriented), which utilizes our expertise in managing facilities in Japan, and adds more value to our and other stores. We will use the know-how acquired in Japan to deploy our businesses in other countries.
In our real estate business, we aim to expand our J-REIT management business and the ownership and development of profit-earning real estate while focusing on value chains of asset management, warehousing and bridge funding, and property management. We also intend to strengthen our initiatives when it comes to developing new assets and life solution-related businesses in response to changes in the times such as work style revolutions and SDGs.
Outside a MINISTOP store in Vietnam
■Retail businesses in ASEAN
We are developing food retail businesses that meet the needs of each ASEAN country’s stage of development. Our focus is on developing four businesses in Vietnam: processing and production of prepared food and processed meats, 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.
■Shopping center management business
The core of the business is Sojitz Commerce Development Corporation, which has built a solid track record in shopping center operation and has accumulated plenty of know-how about adding value since its founding in 2001. In November 2018 the corporation obtained 100% of the trust beneficiary rights for Pieri Moriyama. It also obtained 20% of the trust beneficiary rights for Nasu Garden Outlet in May 2019. We aim to help invigorate the local community through our shopping center operations for all the centers we manage.
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 the companies 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.
■Overseas urban infrastructure business
In response to the issue of urban configuration, which accompanies the economic growth of emerging countries in particular, we partner with the most suitable companies in order to carry out development projects that contribute to the growth of the countries and the region. In Deltamas City in Indonesia, we are driving the creation of a city for 250,000 people, making use of the strengths of Japanese companies to equip the city with schools for Japanese people overseas, large shopping malls, and housing.
■J-REIT management business
We are increasing the total amount of assets under the management of Nippon REIT Investment Corporation (NRT), our integrated, listed REIT, and improving the quality of its portfolio to expand our stable earnings foundation. Through Sojitz REIT Advisors K.K., which is responsible for management of the assets, we are carefully identifying properties and increasing their value via our proprietary engineering technology. As of March 31, 2020, six years after NRT was listed, the company’s assets under management totaled around ¥250.0 billion, and we are aiming for ¥300.0 billion in the medium term.