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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More lessons from Japan

The FT (subscription) continues its great series of article about Japan’s ageing population and the lessons that we might learn. Of course there may be no lessons since Japanese society is so radically different from the UK and US that trying to extrapolate is a worthless exercise. Here are a few points:
A lot of talk about Leon, a magazine targeting the older male. Actually it appears to be aiming at guys in their late 30s to late 40s. It is doing well enough to have just launched in China.

A local ‘me’ (i.e. somebody who pontificates on the older market) says: “As people get older, their tastes and needs become more similar.” Is this true in the West? What evidence is there that it is true in Japan?

The cosmetic industry seems to one of the few industries that have been successful at benefiting from Japan’s ageing population – so far. Kanebo (a Japanese cosmetics company) generates more than Y10bn a year in sales of its Evita line for 50-plus women and is now moving on to the 60-plus.

The real estate boom that was expect as retired people exited big cities to move to the country has not happened. The local ‘me’ says: “It’s usually the wife who objects. The husband might want to spend his retirement working in a field back home, but the wife usually likes the convenience of the city.” The result has been for a higher premium on urban condominiums within an easy walk of train stations, and ever falling prices for rural retreats.
And so on …. If you get a chance it is worth reading. Dick Stroud

1 comment:

Mike from Drop Ship said...

Ageing population in any country makes for a potential customer base. One has to know the methods of exploitation.