The failure of multinational food retailers in Japan: A matter of convenience?

Haddock-Fraser, Janet and Poole, Nigel and Doishito, Mitsuhiro (2009) The failure of multinational food retailers in Japan: A matter of convenience? British Food Journal, 111 (4). pp. 327-348. ISSN 0007-070X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Purpose: This paper addresses the question of why world major supermarket chains been unsuccessful so far in the Japanese market. The article considers arguments from the literature that differences in consumer attitudes and behaviour concerning between the two markets may be the determinants of the success, or otherwise, of the large US and European supermarkets. Methodology/Approach: A review of literature about Western and Japanese retailing is followed by an account of exploratory empirical research into Japanese consumer grocery purchasing and consumption behaviour. Findings: The results support an argument that the large store ‘one-stop shopping’ supermarket format popular in the UK/EU is not and will not be the preferred format in Japan. Convenience, matters, but it is not the same concept as in the UK, for example. Research limitations/implications: the sample survey is purposively biased towards younger female shoppers from the working population who will have a significant impact on future consumer behaviour patterns. Results are more inferential than statistically validated hypotheses. Practical implications: Supermarket chains should open a larger number of smaller stores, concentrating on frequently delivered and high quality products, above all in the fresh foods categories. Moreover, the growth of the small ‘convenience’ store format in markets such as the UK and California suggests that ‘western’ consumers’ desires for convenience are becoming more like those of Japanese consumers.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Can be added to the references: Further reading USDA (2006), Japanese Retail Food Sector Report, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Washington, DC, 15 November, available at: 146249538.doc (accessed 1 October 2007). Corresponding author Janet Haddock-Fraser can be contacted at:
Uncontrolled keywords: Japan, Convenience foods, Consumers, European Union
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: Janet Haddock-Fraser
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2009 16:19
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2014 15:07
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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