Wer kauft wo? Zur Einkaufsstättenwahl japanischer Konsumenten
The Japanese consumer of today has a wide variety of retail outlets to choose from. These include not only the traditional mom-and-pop stores or the department stores but also speciality stores and all types of supermarkets, such as general merchandising stores, food supermarkets, discount stores, convenience stores and home centers. The main purpose of this article is to give an account of how the Japanese consumer chooses between these alternatives. This is done in three steps using data from various surveys. First, the choice among the alternative retail store types is shown in relation to the type of goods purchased. Second, results relating to the general image of the various retail stores among Japanese consumers are presented. Finally, the special demands Japanese consumers associate with certain retail store types are listed. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the role of small traditional retail outlets – supported for a long time by state intervention in the distribution sector – is increasingly being taken over by modern retail-store types such as the convenience store or the food supermarket. There is a gap between the marketing policy of Japanese department stores and general merchandising stores and the demands the Japanese consumer directs toward these types. Whereas stores of both types have been moving up into a high pricing position, Japanese consumers, especially after the bursting of the bubble economy, have become more price conscious.