Migros to sell private label in Japan

Swiss retailer Migros is to sell private label products into two Japanese retail chains.

Switzerland’s largest grocer, and one of the world’s 40 largest supermarket chains, is to sell lines to Lawson’s Seijo Ishii stores and Seiyu, which is Walmart’s Japan business.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Migros will start with 16 premium products including Swiss Delice biscuits and iced tea, which will go on sale in 400 supermarkets trading under the Seiyu and Seijo Ishii banners.

By 2020, Migros hopes to expand the range to 300 items, including desserts, snacks, cosmetics and skincare products, projecting sales of US$16 million annually.

Retail research house IGD describes the move as “particularly surprising” for Seiyu, whose range already includes private label lines from Walmart’s own network, including Asda’s Extra Special wines.

IGD describes Japan as “the most sophisticated private label market in Asia,” with strong players including Seven & I, Aeon, FamilyMart and Lawson.

“These retailers are exploring the higher margin opportunities that premium private label ranges offer, focusing development around high quality, special ingredients and unique products.”

Those ranges include Seven Gold and FamilyMart’s Platinum Line.

But IGD says European influenced products are likely to appeal to shoppers’ increasingly cosmopolitan tastes, and the early line-up includes items which are mutually popular in the Swiss and Japanese markets: ice cream and iced tea.

“Migros follows in the footsteps of European retailers Waitrose and Carrefour, whose private label products are already available in Japan through partnerships with Aeon.”


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