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Kitchen Furniture in Japan 2009


Market Size Japan is the 2nd largest retail market with 127 million consumers. It is the 2nd biggest kitchen market in the world (behind US) with more 1.8 million units sold per year. The market appeared stable in the years 2006-2008, with a slight increase of 1-2 per cent per year.

The high number of kitchen units sold per year are a result of high activity in construction and remodeling market for private buildings in Japan. Main reason: in Japan, a home is built usually for one generation, the average life-span of a building in Japan is just 30-35 years.

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History of kitchen in Japan The Japanese kitchen look has changed drastically in the past 30 years. This depended much on historical changes in the Japanese society.

Before World War II., Japanese families followed a very strict patriarchal system. There was a proverb “Man should not enter into the kitchen.� It meant men should behave as leaders of the family, kitchen is the place for the women. In these days, seat position and turn of eating were fixed according to hierarchy as like father and grand father should be 1st, first son 2nd, grand mother and other children 3rd and mother last. Toady, Japan’s society is much different.

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History of kitchen in Japan After World War II., the Japanese economy had a revival like a miracle. Still the hierarchy in the family was somewhat kept.

In the 60s people started buying TVs and refrigerators. Western culture had been taken into the life. Stainless steel was started to be used for sink. The typical Japanese kitchen of that time was a separated place where the family would hide the cooking from visitors. And still, a kitchen was considered as the place for house-wives to prepare meals only.

Kitchen in Japan today look much different.

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History of kitchen in Japan After the “bubble economy� of the 90s, Japanese people started to think about real life. On one other hand company started to hire women as reasonable employees.

One the other, fathers started to realise that they have to share the house work to make marriage work. It was also realised that use of kitchen and in-house eating can be a driving part of a modern family. Finally, kitchen started to be not the place for women anymore, but important a communication space.

Today, the kitchen is the centre of a Japanese home. It is bigger, roomier and well designed.

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Kitchen Styles in Japan There are basically 3 type of kitchen styles popular in Japan today. 1. Closed style kitchen - Tradition Type Smoke and noise by cooking can be hidden. There’s no need to clean up by a sudden visitor. It is possible to focus on cooking, however communication with the family almost not possible, distance from dining is comparatively long.

2. Open style kitchen - Modern Type 1 Layout can be set freely. Cookers can see dining & living room, so that communication with the family is quite easy. This style could get good reputation from family has older person or child. As there is no partition, it is needed to install a strong ventilation system, and oily stuff as like grilling fish and meat are sometimes bring cooking dirt into the living area. Families have to make a effort to clean up often.

3. Semi-open style kitchen - Modern Type 2 Kitchen area is partly separated by a hanging shelf or half closed by a counter. This style can partially solve the problem of smoke/smell, but still appears open. It is possible to keep communication with the family during cooking.

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Kitchen Styles in Japan One major Japanese kitchen manufacturer surveyed Japanese kitchen user (2007, 622 married females) What kitchen do you currently use? 31.8

33.1

32.3

28.4

Closed

35.0

Semi-open

Open

If renovating your house, for which kitchen would you decide?

General (622)

17.2 15.5

34.2

Age 20s (155) Age 30s (155)

33.5

Age 40s (155)

40.1

33.1

Age 50s (157)

15.9

46.5

37.6

32.0

32.9

35.1

Having a child (487)

17.5

52.2

30.4

31.1

34.1

34.8

Having no child (135)

16.3

54.8

28.9

32.3

30.9

36.8

Working wife(220)

16.8

54.1

29.1

31.6

34.3

34.1

House wife(402)

17.4

52.0

30.6

29.0 39.4 26.8

36.8 27.1

100.0 100.0 100.0

39.4

Closed kitchen (198)

15.5 21.9

26.8

Semi-open kitchen (206) 13.6 Open kitchen (218)

11.9

52.7 51.0 59.4 54.2

47.5

59.7 50.9

30.1

(%)

33.5 25.2 23.9

25.8 26.7 37.2

Conclusion  traditional designed kitchen become less popular, while semi-open style gains popularity.

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Consumer Research Japan Which kitchen are you currently using? My Voice, a Japanese internet researching institute conducted a research about consumer’s preferences of kitchen brands in the end of 2007.

INAX Takara Sun wave National/Matsushita

Number of respondents: 14,363

Cleanup TOTO

Male

Female

Total

Tostem MIKADO

Number of Participants

Panasonic/ Matsushita

6,607

7,756

14,363

Yamaha Noritz

In per cent

46%

54%

100%

Hitachi Housetec Nasluck Eidai Beltecno

Conclusion (chart on the right) Japanese kitchen makers are very strong in the massmarket. The big four are: Inax, Takara, Sunwave, and National. Foreign brands are strong and increasing presence in the mid-to high-end segment, mostly design & image driven.

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Toyo Kitchen Kitchen House Other domestic maker Foreign maker No System kitchen I don’t know No answer


Consumer Research Japan What was the most important factor to choose kitchen (currently in use)? My Voice, a Japanese internet researching institute conducted a research about consumer’s preferences of kitchen brands in the end of 2007. Number of respondents: 14,363

It is user-friendly merchandise of the maker who can trust it It has better storage Easy maintenance and cleaning Good design Better in functionalities

it was recommended by house builder

Conclusion (chart on the right)

Good design sense Better after service can be expected

Most Japanese consumers prefer functionality and reliable suppliers (product quality, installation quality and service) when purchasing a kitchen.

I could confirm at showroom Wide variation for choose Famous maker

Customer needs are supported New technology and fashion are taken in well

The biggest buying impulses are: 1)

Functionality

2)

Product Quality

3)

Storage Facilities

4)

Design

It is reputable among friend acquaintances It is reputable among specialists There is explanation carefully on the Internet It is good at PR and advertisement Food specialists recommended Others I have no idea No answer

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Questioned people are kitchen users


Major Japanese Kitchen Brands Inax is a large group company in Japan, specialising on bath and kitchen furniture. Three brands:

Link: www.inax.co.jp

Gran Piasse

High-end model

IST

medium model

I600

for reforming

Grand Piasse Inax are strong as total household furniture, toilet and bath brand. Also high sense of design.

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Major Japanese Kitchen Brands Takara Standard is the top 2.

About 20 percent market share, but often considered as “old fashioned�. Link: www.takara-standard.co.jp

LEMURE

high-end model

Frea

medium model

Edel

Ritela

reasonable

Takara are competent for enameled steel products.

However they are quite conventional and not so innovative and stylish.

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Major Japanese Kitchen Brands

Link: www.sunwave.co.jp

Centenario high-end model

highest grade

Style Kitchen high-end model

collaborated with TEPCO electric stove

RinⅡ high-end model

All stainless kitchen for professional look

Sunvarie pitto Mid-range model

Functional door pockets for storage

Actyes Mid-range model

Sustainable design kitchen

BM+ reasonable model

Trend design and function

Sunfurni TioⅡ Low price

For limited space as like apartment

Well life special

For handicapped and aged person

Clear series positioning, stylish and innovative.

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Major Japanese Kitchen Brands National is a major electronics maker in Japan (Panasonic), three kitchen brands: Link http://panasonic.jp/sumai/kitchen/

XIMO

XIMO

high-end model “Lighting design kitchen�

Fit

medium model 5 Type of plan is prepared

GENEO

reasonable simple and designed

Ideco

free customize aluminum frame low price range

New AP

low price for limited space and apartment

GENEO National are strong at electrical appliances. XIMO has high sense of design and lighting system.

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Major Japanese Kitchen Brands Japanese kitchen maker “Cleanup” has 6 series: Cleanup Link: www.cleanup.co.jp

S.S.

high-end model “Stainless System kitchen”

Cleanlady

medium model 5 Type of plan is prepared

Caplan

reasonable simple and designed

Colty

limited space and apartment

CS

all stainless steel

Duo

low priced kitchen segment

Cleanup highest model is focusing on movement on cooking, storage. Function and space are considered by the action of cooking.

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Major Japanese Kitchen Brands TOTO is a large company specialising on bath and kitchen furniture. Three brands: Link: www.toto.co.jp

Cuisia

high-end model high sense of design 4 layout plans

Legacess

medium model 5 type of layout plan is prepared

Style F

reasonable simple and designed

Frame Kitchen

Reasonable and innovative free planned frame system of kitchen

CS

All stainless steel

Duo

Low priced item

Toto are strong as total house hold furniture brand, toilet and bath brand, too. Also high sense of design and idea. “Washlet�, an automated toilet system, was invented by Toto.

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Other Kitchen Brands in the Japanese Market

The logo list above shows most significant players in Japan, aside of the major Japanese brands. Foreign brands, mostly sell by image, modern design and excellent finish quality, not the price.

Most foreign brands are marketing in the mid to up-market segment in Japan. Strongest importing countries in kitchen in Japan are Germany and Italy.

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Market Overlook Mass Market

Image Market

Cleanup

The scheme above symbolises the Japanese kitchen market segmentation.

Basically, mass-market means Japanese volume manufacturers, while mid and high-end markets belong to stylish foreign brands with innovative design and excellent quality. Japanese makers try to imitate foreign kitchen designs to enhance brand images and product value in the market place.

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Electrical Kitchen Appliances Major kitchen appliances makers in Japan Laundry cleaner machine

P O O O O

O O O O O C C

fridge

Microwave oven/ oven

Rice cooker

kettle

Coffee related

O O O O O

O O O O P

O O O O O O O

O

O

O

Mixing/ IH Dishwash Hot plate cutting cooking er machine

O

O O O O

O O

O O

P

O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O

O O O O O O

P=premium, O=ordinal, C=cheap, especially strong in sales in Japan

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Audio and visual

computer

PO PO O O O O O P O

Air condition er

O O O O O


Electrical Kitchen Appliances Other brands Laundry cleaner machine

O

TWINBIRD

Conclusion

fridge

Microwave oven/ oven

Rice cooker

kettle

P O

C C

Coffee related

Mixing/ IH Dishwash Hot plate cutting cooking er machine

P

C

C O O

O O C C O

P

Audio and visual

computer

Air condition er

O

P P C C

C C

C

P=premium, O=ordinal, C=cheap, especially strong in sales in Japan

National is the home appliance brand name of Panasonic in Japan, and top player in kitchen appliances. National is the strongest player for housing construction projects (that use of electrical built in appliances). Foreign brands have a premier image, but synergy effect is looked small.

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Few key points in regards to Japanese customers • • • • • •

Extreme focus on quality and customer service Need to show long term committement to Japan Excellent distribution and service network a must Some adaption to the Japanese market often required Extreme need and request for technical information and documentation Close and frequent communication to partner and customers necessary to maintain well-working long-term relations • Focus hard on hiring top people (a pool of very talented Japanese are available if you screen carefully). Use recruiting agencies and headhunters rather than printed or internet ads • OK to take a premium price still, although market becoming more competitive

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Contacts Contacts G&S International Japan Amenity D Building, 6-4-13 Soshigaya Tokyo Setagaya-ku, 157-0072 Japan

phone +81-80-5519-1260 email contact@gs-int-ltd.com web www.gs-int-ltd.com

The Europe Japan Business Center Amenity D Building, 6-4-13 Soshigaya Tokyo Setagaya-ku, 157-0072 Japan

phone +81-50-5532-1298 email info@ej-bc.com web www.ej-bc.com

Business Development & Consulting in Japan

Profile for Japan Retail News

Kitchen Market Japan 2009  

Detailed market report on kitchen furniture in Japan, history, industry player review, latest trends, consumer opinion research, market size...

Kitchen Market Japan 2009  

Detailed market report on kitchen furniture in Japan, history, industry player review, latest trends, consumer opinion research, market size...

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