Japan-based zip maker YKK is seeking to establish itself in the entry-level zip segment. Zips are used in apparel, handbags and fashion accessories. The main zip manufacturers are in China and elsewhere in Asia. No less than 60 per cent of YKK’s investment will be specifically targeted to Asia.
YKK’ currently accounts for 40 per cent of worldwide zip sales in value and 20 per cent in volume terms, since its range relies heavily on quality and innovation. The remaining 80 per cent of worldwide sales in volume reportedly comes from China.
Since there is a limit to how much it can reduce costs for current output, the group is planning to manufacture items using an addition rather than a subtraction approach. Manufacturing methods will be re-evaluated in order to make low-cost output profitable too.
Zippers are sent from Japan to overseas manufacturers. In Japan YKK dominates the market to the extent of 70 per cent. In Japan, YKK has fire retardant zippers, water repellent zippers, zippers for scuba diving suits and for suits that astronauts wear. YKK, founded in 1934, makes more than seven billion zippers a year.