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5.24.2017

Nikkei Favorite Stores Survey: Sweets for Tween Men; Household Items for women top lists with Seven Eleven being King

The Nikkei Marketing Journal released the survey results of its joint survey of "Stores I Want to Recommend." Approximately 230,000 people responded to the survey and rated 348 store brands in 22 different categories.

Surprises were abundant in the findings...

Tween Men Prefer Baskin Robbins and Mister Donut Above All

The results for tween men shows that they are not shy to go into sweets shops alone or with friends, unlike their older counterparts. 

Their favorite stores that they would recommend to friends were:
1. Baskin Robbins (ice cream shop) 47.9%
2. Mister Donut (donut shop) 47.3%
3. UNIQLO  (casual fashion and accessories) 46.8%
4. Seven Eleven (convenient store) 43.1%
5. Don Quijote (discounted supermarket) 43.0%
6. Godiva (specialty chocolatier) 41.9%
7. Mos Burger (fast food) 40.3%
8. Loft (stationery and household goods) 39.8%
9. Family Mart (convenient store) 39.5%
10. Tokyu Hands (sationery, DIY, and household goods) 38.9%

Overall Ranking Has Seven Eleven Topping List

The results were presented by generations, but the overall ranking list looks like this:

1. Seven Eleven (convenient store) 40.6%
2. Daiso (one-dollar shop) 40.0%
3. Mos Burger (fast food) 35.8%
4. UNIQLO (casual fashion and accessories) 35.5%
5. MUJI (household goods, casual fashion, and stationery) 35.1%
6. Godiva (specialty chocolatier) 34.4%
7. Starbucks Coffee 33.8%
8. Lawson's (convenient store) 32.8%
9. Aeon (supermarket) 32.6%
10. Tokyu Hands (household goods, DIY, and stationery) 31.4%
11. Family Mart (convenience store) 31.2%
12. Nitori (household goods) 30.5%
13. Komeda Coffee (cafe) 30.4%
13. Seria (one-dollar shop) 30.4%
15. Baskin Robbins (ice cream store) 30.2%

Seven Eleven enjoys a whopping 57 months of consecutive, month-on-month revenue growth on existing store basis. And Seven Eleven was the only brand that ranked among the top 10 for all age groups in both genders. The chain has had ongoing relaunches of such staples as rice balls and pre-cooked food as well as limited editions in beverages, frozen foods, and prepared food.

Mister Donut is not just a donut shop, but offers noodles, fried rice, and dumplings in addition to their signature bottomless cups of coffee and cafe lattes. Two donuts and a cup of coffee comes under 500 yen ($5 USD). Combined with endless refills of coffee, it is a more cost-effective destination than Starbucks or fast food chains. 

Though Mos Burger is not the cheapest or largest fast food chain, for both men and women in their 40s, Mos Burger topped the list. For more than 30 years, the chain has been buying vegetables directly from its over 3,000 contracted farmers and displays the names of the farms the vegetables came from in every store. The chain is also famous for its founder and CEO insisting that all executive officers including himself, spend one day a year working in a store. The CEO himself flips burgers for a day in a kitchen in an actual store. He is also very hands on when it comes to developing new menu items and will personally taste test all proposals.

Consumers have commented "If I go to Mos Burger, I feel I can eat more vegetables," and the Nikkei reports that the chain is seeing its clientele of older men growing as they become more health conscious. Mos Burger by far outweighed McDonald's. 

Fashion Seems Doomed

What struck me was that not one fashion brand made the top 10, except for UNIQLO and MUJI. For women in their 60s and above, department store Takashimaya came in 9th with 33.7%, but for younger women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, UNIQLO coming in 4th at 54.9% for tweens and MUJI coming in 2nd (53.0% for 30s) and 6th (39.1% for 40s) are the only fashion and apparel related brands. 

Even popular cosmetics brand Jill Stuart came in 140th in overall ranking. The results obviously show that Japanese consumers are spending on food and beverages, household items, and a "third place."

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