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Abstract

 

This project involves discovering
why the Malaysia fashion market difficult enter into Japanese fashion market.
The goal is to find out the reason that cause the Malaysia brand retailer
difficult to expands the business into Japan market. Japanese customers more attach
importance to the commodity quality, this is why many customers will prefer
Japanese commodity compare to Malaysia made commodity. Japan will pretest the
commodity and make sure the quality are meet the requirement before launch into
the market to avoid bring negative impact to end users. Therefore, the
businesses can solve the problem through many solutions that based on their
business capital and financial, hiring and retain the knowledge worker etc. We
hope can find out a best solution that suitable to use and let the Malaysia
fashion market can enter into the Japan market.

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Introduction

Nowadays, Islamic Fashion market is speedily
growing niche but there is still relatively unfilled in a global scale. There
are many big clothing brand retailers are trying to reach Muslim religious
fulfillments in presenting their set of clothing or accessories collections.
For example, a clothing brand which is UNIQLO excellently collaborated with the
designer Hana Tajima to create a Muslim-oriented product line, but they aren’t
the only ones.

According to the data compiler Statista, it
shows the Japanese overall fashion market is going to grow up to US$72.72
billion by 2020 from $63.72bn last year. It is because the Muslim population in
Japan is estimated between 70,000 and 150,000 among the country’s total of more
than 126 million people.

Islamic fashion market is keep rising
attention and emphasizing by Japan. It is because they can attract more Muslim
to go to their country, Japan. They set up their first Muslim fashion show in
November, 2016. With a mission to make the country “Muslim-friendly”, the Tokyo
Modest Fashion Show organized by Halal Media Japan which conducted in 2014 ran
concurrently with the Halal Expo Japan. These activities all proved that a
growing number of non-Muslim Japanese have recently shown interest in Islamic
fashion.

In addition, Japanese government
wants to target and to be advanced comprehensively in the halal sector to drive
the country among the top five halal exporters globally by 2020. It is because
there is an event conducted by Japan in 2020 which is Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Japanese government also put a lot of efforts such as Japanese Government’s
Visit Japan Campaign, the interest in Japan brought on by, and the enabling of
visa regulations for those countries with a large Muslim population, such as
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. This will makes the amount of Muslim tourists
from these country and customers keep increasing in the Japan.

 

In Malaysia, the trend of Islamic
fashion is a relatively new phenomenon. In a country where most Muslim women
wear a headdress, the fashionable 36-year-old has several thousand dollars’
worth of headscarves from two brands that have taken Malaysia by storm – dUCk
and Naelofar Hijab. These two brands are riding the wave of a phenomenon called
“modest wear” that is sweeping the world. Modest wear aligns with
contemporary fashion but is geared to the needs of Muslim women, offering style
and diversity.

In recent years, Malaysia has
emerged as one of the global trendsetters in modest wear. Women there are also
embracing the wearing of Islamic-suitable cosmetics. So what is Islamic modest
wear? Its fans say they want to obey the Islamic style of dressing for women by
covering their heads, necks, arms and legs – but in a fashionable way that is
in addition to the traditional black, loose abaya and headgear.

Another reason that improves the
interest in modest wear is the wide presence of social media. For example,
Muslim women can purchase online via Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Amazon and any
other social media which provide Islamic fashion to them.  Muslim women also can to become more
fashion-conscious and have the golden opportunity to represent themselves
through their selection of the attire with the social media visuals.

Clearly with its current growth,
modest fashion in the modern age has created diversity, celebrating inclusion
and redefining modesty as religion less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Findings and Discussion

In Malaysia, UNIQLO has been
operating a lot of stores across the country. UNIQLO Malaysia is located in
many places which are Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Johor Bahru, etc. It is expanding
to 43 stores by the end of December, 2017. But the first store that UNIQLO
opening at Fahrenheit 88 shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, under its
joint venture with Wing Tai Clothing Sdn Bhd, formely the company is known as
DNP Clothing Sdn Bhd. Based on the percentage distribution of the population by
religion in Malaysia, Islam was the most widely professed religion with the
proportion of 61.3 percent although Malaysia is a multi-racial nation. In
addition, other religions included were Buddhism (19.8%), Christianity (9.2%)
and Hinduism (6.3%). Thus, if UNIQLO Malaysia wants to gain profit in Malaysia,
strategies are the must that should provide by headquarter in Japan. Tadashi
Yanai who is Uniqlo operator, he said that he wants to satisfy diverse markets
which are aims for a global clothing brand and enrich its product line of
Muslims wear.

According to UNIQLO introduces range of ‘modest
clothing’ for Muslims in Malaysia wrote by Evie Lund, a modern Japanese company
which is UNIQLO that inspires the world to dress casual. UNIQLO has been
expanded its reach to Muslim fashion by using strategy which is introduce a
range of ‘modest clothing’ for Muslims in Malaysia to attract Muslims
purchases. UNIQLO always be intended to improve their global business
especially attracting Muslims by producing a collection of Muslims-appropriate
attire for its stores in Malaysia. Besides, UNIQLO has proved that its stores
are the places which everyone is suitable on their clothing and can provided
all the customers on their needs.

The strategies that UNIQLO implement are:

1.    
Collaborate
with designer Hana Tajima

The strategy that UNIQLO used to
produce out a new collection of clothing is part of collaboration with designer
Hana Tajima aimed at appealing to the Muslim women. Hana Tajima who collaborate
with UNIQLO said that she want to produce a range of garments because modesty
varies from person to person. This series of clothing not only includes
traditional Islamic garments such as colorful hijabs, kebaya, and jubbah, as
well as looser silhouettes, loose-fitting clothing, more coverage, longer hems,
and sleeve tops that should be suitable for their theme which is “modest wear”.
It benefits to Muslim women when a apparel chain which is UNIQLO stores are
having the fashion clothes such as baju kurung, kebaya and headscarves rather
that rows of blue jeans, crop tee lining up in the stores. This is because of
they only can found all of these at niche stores, but now it will be more
convenience for them that they can found in the stores located in the town.
Thus, it is a strategy used by Japanese clothing brand retailer to attract
Muslim consumers.

 

2.    
AIRism
and Fabric

AIRism is a technology
that promoted by UNIQLO which wicks away moisture for a cooling sensation,
keeping you dry and providing all day long comfort. In addition, AIRism is also
used by UNIQLO on producing their brand clothing and it also used for this
collaboration with designer Hana Tajima for producing the hijabs and. It
benefits Muslim women by worn under a hijab, it will make them feel more
comfortable and it can dry sweat quickly. It will also perfect to Muslim women
by wearing this practical hijab to go the other countries where are having a
terrible hot weather or just in our hot weather country, Malaysia. The features
of AIRism technology have been designed to become indispensable for its
products especially useful in the collection of Muslim wear. However, UNIQLO is
also known for its fabric and this signature material also include in the
collection. This is because Muslim fashion should be comprised with more fabric
and that said by Tajima.

 

3.    
Various
choices in “modest wear”

 “Modest wear” is a theme for the collection
that collaborates with designer Hana Tajima. This collection consists of
variety choices which include in the UNIQLO product lines. For the
head-covering, there are different choices which are a traditional scarf-like
hijab, a form-fitting “inner hijab” to be worn inside looser garments, and an
“inner headband”. This is something that promoted by UNIQLO to attract Muslim
because all of their products fashion offerings is differentiate from other
brand clothing. For instance, most of the famous clothing brand retailer such
as Zara, Cotton on does not consists of hijab, inner hijab, headband in their
product lines. So, it is a very good strategy and implements it out for
attracting the Muslims consumer. It will benefit Muslim consumer because they
maybe want to find these in the good reputation company which is UNIQLO.

4.    
Advertising
campaign

UNIQLO tends to attract Muslims in
Malaysia by using advertising campaign which includes Malaysian Muslim women
who is model Yuna. Unlike other clothing company’s advertising campaign always
featured only non-Muslim or white models. This strategy made by UNIQLO may be
successfully reach Muslims in Malaysia because of her personality and is
popular in Malaysia.

 

All in all, these are the strategies to attract
Malaysian Muslim women used by UNIQLO for their clothing. As result, we can
know that UNIQLO has been successfully reached Malaysian Muslim women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the research, Japan is the
world’s third largest market which make many companies wish to enter into it to
enlarge business. Innovative is the word that I choose to describe this country
as Japan has many recent global technology revolutions started in there. Japan
is willing to develop commodity that bring convenient to end users. There are
many reasons that find it difficult to succeed in Japan.

Japanese customers are very
particular in the commodity that purchase, the commodity must be redesign or
redevelop in order to optimal the useful of the product. This is why many
customers will prefer Japanese commodity compare to Malaysia made commodity. Before
the commodity been launch into market, Japan will pretest it to make sure that
the commodity that launch into market will not bring negative impact to end
users. As this point, Japan is pay attention of customers in order to meet
customers’ satisfaction. Japan Muslim also is looking to have functionary
commodity that made by Malaysia. Therefore, Malaysia should consider Muslim
needs and Muslim custom of wearing style. Japanese side view and Malaysia side
view is different so it is vital to understand both side view to create
attractiveness commodity for enter into Japan Muslim market.

Before enter into a new market,
Japan will definitely avoid well known mistakes. Mistakes are not horrible but
keep repeating the same mistake is irresponsible and wasting time and resource.
Learn from mistake is what Japan doing and this is an ethical value that should
be acquired by every person. For example, Thomas Alva Edison was created first
commercially practical incandescent light in 1879. His experiment has been faced
many failure in order to have the light that nowadays use by everyone. He never
give up even though his experiment is not success during few times, he keep
trying and trying. In addition, whenever facing problems, escape from problem
is not the right decision, however be brave to stand in front of problem will
make the successful be near to us. Lack of preparation, lack of information and
lack of planning are some example of the common mistake that been made.
Malaysia are still need to do research and well understand regarding the new
market that wish to develop in Japan. Fully grasp the information will be
helpful when making decision. However, getting the experience from every single
try is significant to improve in the next try.

 

Japan market entry: why can business in Japan be difficult?

The ratio of internet sales has
continued to increase rapidly. Almost all of the successful shops have
e-commerce and m-commerce site. In the other hand, fashion items were not
considered as items which will be sold through online shops in the past because
of its various sizes and details which might be difficult to see through online
display but nowadays, it is one of the most increasing areas in internet sales.
Online shopping is ease for customer as it can be anywhere, anytime via
computer and mobile phone with quick and reliable delivery service for
customers. Customers just need to sit back, relax and wait for the package to
be come to customers. But, Japan Muslim style in fashion is different with
Malaysia Muslim style in fashion and Japan Muslim is used to own style
therefore it is hard to change the perspective of the fashion style.

Japanese fashion market have their
own style to attract Japan Muslim customers. Japan focus on unique, the unique
value for fashion in Japanese values is pretty, lovely and youthful. Besides,
the strategic use by Japan is that Japanese fashion market is led by middle
classes like OL, business person, students and so on. OL, business persons,
students buys luxury items as well as low cost items. At this point, the target
customers of the commodity in the new market will affect the successful of the
entry market.

https://www.finpro.fi/documents/10304/77620/Export-Finland-Asia-Fashion-Studies.pdf

 

Recommendation

From the Malaysia market view, the clothing brand
retailer can improve themselves by importing the advance technology to improve
the quality of the commodity because the Japanese are focus the quality more
than the price. The business can form R department to do the research in
Japan market. The business can base on the result to evaluate whether the
business should enter to the Japan market. If the statistics show the result is
good and can earn profit, the business can make invest in technology to improve
the quality of commodity.

Besides, Malaysia clothing brand retailer also can
collaborate with the business in the Japan; one of the strategies is use joint
venture. So they can create a new brand to share their idea, design and the
business strategies, this will cause the business of Malaysia more easily to
understand the market segmentation and the customer satisfaction.

Moreover, the Japan Muslim style are more difference
with the Malaysia Muslim style, so the business can hire and retain more
knowledge worker from difference country to design and accept the change for more
Muslim fashion style. The business also can provide training and good
environment to the designer because a good and comfort environment will help
the designer to bring up their ideas and innovative. Let the designer to design
match the Japan Muslim style.

 

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is
clear to see that the differences between Japanese fashion market and Malaysia
fashion market especially focus on the reach to the Muslim consumers. Japanese popular
clothing brand always tries to reach global but Malaysia can’t to do that
because some certain circumstances.

Based on the report’s
findings, Japanese global brand which is UNIQLO always wants to improve by
using strategy to reach Muslim in Malaysia. The strategies they used for
reaching Malaysia Muslims are collaborating with designer Hana Tajima and producing
out a new collection of clothing themed as “modest wear” aimed at appealing to
the Muslim women. In this collaboration, a set of various wear can provide by
UNIQLO to their customers. It makes their customers to have more choices on
their clothing fashion. UNIQLO are also using advertising campaign for their promotion
and using the technology which makes the clothing quality to the best. It is a
very successful strategies used by UNIQLO, because the attraction can go
globally to the Muslims customer not only to Malaysia Muslims.  

Besides, the reason
why Malaysia cannot enter the country’s market can be based on Japanese
customer’s needs. Japanese customers are very particular in the commodity that
purchase, the commodity must be redesign or redevelop in order to optimal the
useful of the product. It is also have been showed by the effort of Japanese by
Japan will definitely avoid well known mistakes when they are planning to go
globally. In addition, the ratio of internet sales has continued to increase
rapidly. Almost all of the successful shops have e-commerce and m-commerce
site. It makes consumer can have a view on their product and book an order
directly all the time.

Furthermore, Malaysia clothing brand can import the advance
technology to improve the quality of the clothing because the Japanese are
focus the quality more than the price. Malaysia clothing brand retailer can try
to have collaboration with the retailer in the Japan by using joint venture.
Malaysia clothing brand retailer can improve themselves
by hiring and retaining more knowledge worker from difference country to design
and accept the change for more Muslim fashion style to attract Japanese Muslims.

In short, Malaysia
should know where the issues are and start learning what they are to enter
Japan Islamic market to attract their Muslims.

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