Le-Biz Consulting is a Japanese company founded in 2001 in Tokyo by Loic Bizel. As a fashion consulting enterprise based in Asia, it mainly identifies and reports Japanese trends for international brands and retailers.
Along with his Japanese business partner, they developed 3 activities:
- Fashion Consulting : Customized fashion trends seasonal reports, yearly new retail concepts reports, advises on how to develop your sales in Japan
- Live fashion trends through www.FashioninJapan.com, a website which features daily the latest fashion trends in Tokyo
- Customized shopping tours www.TokyoFashionTour.com, for international retailers and brands to discover the country’s best retail stores and fashion trends in 2 or 3 days
Since 2001, the company has learnt how to work and operate in the Japanese market. As Loic Bizel says: “Our strength is to know the Japanese consumers from the inside, “who they are what they buy, where they shop”. We also know who are the best retailers and concept stores; and what and how to sell to them.” It is hence understandable that major brands like Timberland, H&M, Top Shop or department stores such as Galeries Lafayette benefit from Le-Biz Consulting’s services. However, as Loic reminds us, smaller designers and retailers are warmly welcomed to come to Japan to get inspiration and discover the latest fashion and retail trends.
This consulting industry is yet not that easy to succeed in. Indeed, challenges are perpetual. According to him, gaining trust from Japanese retailers or foreign clients is difficult and takes time. Quality services should be constantly provided to prevent clients from not coming back, especially when talking about the Tokyo Fashion Tour and the Trends Reports. Concerning the retail sector, an unforgettable experience should be lived by the client at each visit in a store. This is mainly explained by the fact that trends evolve continually, and companies visiting Tokyo are looking for new ideas to adapt to their own market in term of products, styles, retail concepts. Also, upcoming trends are hardly spottable if you have not followed the trends from the inside and thus require special skills; in other words “having an eye” and being able to analyse the past and current situation.
Working in Japan is also a challenge in itself for Loic Bizel. So as to correctly fit the Japanese market, it is important to understand and try to assimilate the culture. As the founder states: “It will be hard for you in Japan if you stay “too” French”. However, he adds that his way of doing can also bring a lot to Japanese workers; it is hence a give and take for both sides. His advice for creating a business in this country is thus to start with a real concept. It is, according to Loic, essential to focus on a specific idea to develop, without starting too wide.