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Main Topic: Department Stores in Taiwan

Hosts: James Stanworth , Stephen Huang , Clyde Warden

Sogo Dpt. Store
Sogo Dpt. Store
Great show this time, with on location video, lots of photos, and six great ConsumerCam videos! This time around, Clyde, Stephen, and James take a look at department stores in GreaterChina. In Taiwan, these mostly take the Japanese-style, with big nameJapanese department stores, like Mitsukoshi (the oldest Japanesedepartment store). Our CCC team visits Taichung, where three of thesebig department stores are in close vicinity to each other. The firstfloor is stuffed with the familiar global cosmetic brands and thesecond floor contains big airy stores with expensive global brands weall know. The store space tends to be open, full of air, over staffed,and not very busy. If you did not move up more floors, you might cometo a shallow conclusion, like "the world is flat," or some othernonsense. Take the escalators up though, and you find quite a differentretailing space. Space gets more crowded, prices go down, and renaoretailing starts to creep in. Some differences are the unique Japanese aspects, such as built in supermarkets.

Mitsukoshi hovers over Taichung
Visitors to Greater China often drop in to department stores and observe brands from around the globe and file the observation away as a supporting fact for the popular idea of the "world is flat." In reality, the market share, and more importantly, the mind share, of these brands is quite small and are representative more of a small group of elite consumers who are global consumers, rather than representing any kind of local preferences.

Being a Japanese retailer, there is a strong skew in SKUs toward Japanese brands and a weak representation of American brands, except in the sports shoes, but a bit more of the European brands. A strong emphasis on sabisu (service) and tidy uniforms is present, but independent hawkers with head-mounted microphones blasting out a demo of the latest and greatest at a special sale price show we are still in a Chinese cultural setting. The giveaway is the sales floor. We take ConsumerCam into the cavernous sales temple inside the Sogo Department Store where inside-out retailing layout is the rule, loud music is playing, and where shoppers spend most of their time.

Chung Yo Clock
Clock puts on a show every hour
Supermarkets and big food courts, stuffed with plasticized food samples, round out the department stores. The supermarket is normally small scale and upscale. These satisfy the one stop shopper who lives a lifestyle defined by the big brands--stopping in to get some personalized service, and picking up groceries on the way. The food court satisfies a quite different market segment. Found here are tweens and teens out for fun with their friends during the week. On a weekend though, the food court satisfies the family groups who have targeted the department store as a family outing.

Brand management is so hard if you are running a high-end and a low-end together; it really becomes questionable in the mind of the consumers. This is what the Japanese managers are so good at in these stores.

Listen To The Show (Audio Only):

Our video camera experienced some difficulties (we sent it for repairs after this shoot), so you may experience some glitches.

Length: 11 minutes. Download MP3 4.92MB (Right click->Save As).

On Location

Watch The Show (Video & Audio):

From Taichung, Stephen, James, and Clyde .
Length: 11 minutes.

iPod Download MP4 48.98MB (Right click->Save As).
QuickTime Download MOV 37.65MB (Right click->Save As).
Windows Media Download WMV 38.04MB (Right click->Save As).
High Quality mp4 H.264(640x480) Download high quality mp4 79.74MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Department store entrance with a promotion trying to get consumers involved.
Vid. 2) A typical second floor with global brands using inside-in retailing full of empty space.
Vid. 3) Toys floor with lots of activity for children that give parents a break and make the visit more than just shopping.
Vid. 4) Art and cultural exhibits attempt to take the focus away from consumption and move it to education.
Vid. 5) Sales floor, where most visitors seem to spend most of their time. Lots of inside-out retailing looking like a night market layout.
Vid. 6) Food courts have a big Japanese influence.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • The high-end brands have their loyal local followers.
  • Like the department stores of old, the first and second floors are designed to impress visitors with their huge open designs.
  • Commonly, whole families visit for a day out trip, walking about, looking, but not buying until they get up to the higher (cheaper) floors.
  • Localized retail designs are present, with inside out and renao retailing aspects as you move up to higher floors.
  • The most popular part of the department store is the discount floor, which echos like a night market motif.
Category: Videocasts

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