Sojitz Corporation

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Retail & Lifestyle Business 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 forest resource businesses.

Strengths of 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
  • Top-level market position for plywood in Japan
  • A supply base of consumer goods and industrial materials suitable for diversifying lifestyles
  • Top market shares in importing live cattle, horses, and frozen North American beef in Japan

 

External Environment

Opportunities

  • 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
  • Greater emphasis placed on sustainable procurement of lumber resources amidst growing environmental awareness

Risk

  • 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

Growth Strategy

Aiming to bring prosperity and convenience to people’s lives, we will pursue a variety of businesses with a global perspective.

Hiroto Murai

Executive Officer, COO,
Retail & Lifestyle Business Division

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 & Lifestyle Business 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.

Furthermore, we entered the household paper and industrial paper product business in Vietnam and are contributing to the lifestyles of the Vietnamese people by satisfying the need for paper products that accompanies the country’s modernization.

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.

Businesses

Outside a MINISTOP store in Vietnam

Meat-One Project    

■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.

■Household paper and Industrial paper business

In June 2018, we invested in Saigon Paper Corporation, a major paper manufacturer in Vietnam, to enter the country‘s household paper and Industrial paper business. We plan to address rising demand by investing in greater production capacity and efficiency. Additionally, we are expanding our sales channels by utilizing the diverse network of lifestyle businesses that we have cultivated in Vietnam.

■Meat-One Project

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.

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