Retail in Asia


Workman to open in Ginza

Japan’s outdoor and sports apparel retailer, Workman, will open a flagship store in Ginza in time for Golden Week in May. The company made its name with stores for tradespeople in roadside locations but began opening closer to city centres once it launched its consumer-facing chain, Workman Plus in 2018. This will be its first true city centre store, however, with its most urban stores to date being in Sakuragicho out towards Yokohama, Tokyo Soramachi, and Namba City in Osaka, but the shakeout in retailing during Covid has opened up more locations in central areas at reasonable rates. 

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The store will open under the Workman Joshi banner, which is targeted mostly at women but also carries men’s merchandise. Womenswear takes up just 40 percent of space even at Workman Joshi stores, but the company is hoping for total sales of JPY14 billion (US$118 million ) from this newer range by next year, up 160 percent on this year. The Ginza store is expected to turnover JPY700 million (US$5.94 million) a year from the 300 sqm store, similar to sales at the Sakuragicho shop. As well as outdoor wear, the Ginza store will also sell the recently launched camping gear ranges. 

Ginza will be followed by another inner city store in Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Tokyo due to open in June. Also this Spring, Workman will open an expanded store in Namba City in Osaka, which will include both Workman Joshi and a new format, Workman Shoes. 

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Workman now has 940 stores (560 Workman, 369 Workman Plus and 11 Workman Joshi) and is targeting 1,500 by 2030, almost all franchises.



JapanConsuming is a research firm specialising in Japanese retail and consumer markets. Founded in 2000, JapanConsuming has become the leading provider of insights on Japanese retailers and consumer trends to retailers, brands, government agencies and investors. JapanConsuming produces a highly regarded monthly report to help subscribers keep up to date with the latest trends and data, and also provides in-depth reports on retail sectors, seminars on key trends and consulting on market entry, expansion strategies and future trends.

(Source: JapanConsuming)