Japanese women in 50s a target for department stores
MAJOR department stores in Japan are focusing on fashion for customers who are around 50 years old, developing their own brands in the hope of boosting sluggish clothing sales.
Customers in this age group are thought to be fashion-conscious because they experienced the affluence of the bubble economy while in their 20s.
People in this demographic have money to spare since their children are grown up.
Takashimaya opened sales floors called Season Style Lab in its Osaka and Tokyo's Shinjuku outlets on Sept 1.
The floors focus on women aged around 50 and sell mainly knitwear and cut-and-sewn products.
Forty per cent of those products were planned, developed and produced by Takashimaya in cooperation with makers.
Many items at Season Style Lab are priced at around 20,000 yen (S$267), about 30 per cent cheaper than equivalent products at shops of major apparel makers.
For its signature sales floors, Takashimaya offers an array of products tailored to the age group, such as pants that conceal body shape.
"We meet the needs (of women around 50) so they can enjoy fashion," said Yukiko Shimameguri, director of the department store's merchandising headquarters.
Sogo & Seibu has developed a private brand - Limited Edition Avecmode - for couples in their 50s.
The brand is available at seven outlets. The designs allow the couples to enjoy similar materials, patterns and colours.
J. Front Retailing, a holding company for department store chains, will roll out its Kcarat brand targeting people in their 40s and 50s by end-September.
The brand, which will be available at six outlets run by Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores, was jointly developed with Senshukai, a major mail-order company in which J. Front has invested.
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK