Apparel Industry Competitive Landscape in Japan (1)

Asia Digital Marketing Japan Taro Kaji Office, LLC

When it comes to apparel industry in Japan, there are a variety of types of brands. Today, I would like to pick up a few that are relatively strong when it comes to targeting a large percentage of the pie in the market.

GU (

Uniqlo (

Ships (

Beams (

Urban Research (

We can see from Table 1 below that Uniqlo is ahead of the lead with GU in terms of the competition which you can see from the level of search demand. Uniqlo and GU are present in a variety of geographical locations targeting the masses which also helps them raise further awareness. However, brands like Beams, Urban Research and Ships are relatively more highly targeted. Their offline stores are not as present as Uniqlo or GU but seem to be located in carefully selected areas that align with their brand image.

Table 1

KeywordKeyword TranslationAvg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)Competition
ユニクロUniqlo1M – 10M0.07
guGU1M – 10M0.08
uniqloUniqlo100K – 1M0.07
ジーユーGU100K – 1M0.08
ビームスBeams100K – 1M0.17
アーバン リサーチUrban Research100K – 1M0.15
beamsBeams10K – 100K0.14
shipShips10K – 100K0.15
シップスShips10K – 100K0.2
urban researchUrban Research10K – 100K0.09

From October 2015, Uniqlo came out of the competition taking a clear lead. There seems to be multiple reasons for this:

Chart 1

I will take a further dive into their marketing strategy especially digital in the next post.

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