Japanese retailers are making headway in China. They include brands such as Casio Computer and Uniqlo. They are combining their physical presence with strong digital sales. Asics, known for its running shoes, has a large network of stores in eastern China, and to a lesser degree the central and northeast portions of the huge nation. Its sales are down two per cent in the United States and flat in Europe. They're up four per cent in Japan but advancing 40 per cent in China, thanks to strong demand for its Onitsuka Tiger brand of fashion sneakers.
Makeup brand Shiseido has a more even split between northeastern, eastern and central China. Its sales are up over 20 percent in China, driving record company-wide sales and record operating profits last calendar year. Casio sells its namesake watches and all manner of other electronic consumer goods.
Sony and Canon could follow in the footsteps of Casio, all three with a large network of Chinese stores. Japanese retailers are doing a better job than their US rivals in selling to the Chinese. China’s economy is increasingly driven by domestic consumption and consumer spending. Retail sales for China’s 1.4 billion population grew at nine per cent last year.