Many overseas companies want to open shops in Japan.
The Japanese market is very lucrative…for companies that prove to be popular here. But the Japanese consumer is very finicky. Companies that don’t meet Japanese expectations are doomed to fail.
For example, the American donut company, Dunkin’ Donuts, is popular in America. But when they opened stores in Japan, the Japanese people found their donuts too sweet…and Dunkin’ Donuts was unable to stay in Japan.
On the other hand, the less-sweet American donut chain Mister Donuts is very popular in Japan. (Ironically, Mister Donuts isn’t very popular in America).
Krispy Kreme Donuts set up shops in Tokyo recently, too.
Some American chains have been bought by a Japanese company and were brought here by their new Japanese owners. For example, the convenience store chain 7-Eleven was bought by the Japanese department store Ito-Yokado. (A couple years ago Ito-Yokado changed the signs on their department stores to reflect their connection with the popular convenience store they own…their signs now say “Seven & i Holdings” on the Ito-Yokado stores.)
7-Eleven (and other convenience stores) are very popular in Japan. Japan is a small country, but there are almost twice as many 7-Eleven stores here than in all of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico combined!
Convenience stores in Japan are very different from their counterparts in America. Japanese convenience stores are great!
7 & i Holdings, the Japanese company that owns 7-Eleven also owns the restaurant chain Denny’s. Denny’s in Japan have a different menu than Denny’s in America. I like Denny’s Japan better (but that may be because I’ve been in Japan for awhile now, and I’m more used to Japanese style food).
デニーズ・レストラン「セブン＆アイ HLDGS」 (Denny
The American bakery Vie de France is in Japan, too. But it’s not American anymore either…Yamazaki Bread owns this company. I like Vie de France. Their bread is excellent.
Of course, American fast-food chains are here…
ケンタッキー (KFC) in Japan.
I have wrote a post about Domino’s Pizza in Japan. Click here to see it.
I like Subway sandwich shop, alot. The Japanese Subway sandwich shop. The menu is much better at Subway Japan than the U.S. branches.
There are Japanese fast-food restaurants, too. These include MOS Burger, First Kitchen, and Freshness Burger (which has beer on the menu! ). Occasionally you can still find a Dom-Dom Burger, and there used to be a chain called Love Hamburger. Love Hamburger went out-of -business about 12 years ago and the U.S. chain Burger King bought all of the Love Burger shops and opened Burger King in Japan in the late ’90s…but they made the ill-fated decision to offer only a limited menu to test the Japanese market. That didn’t go over well and soon they went out-of-business in Japan, too.
But recently, Burger King decided to re-try the Japanese market…and I guess they learned from their past mistakes—they seem to be doing well in Japan now.
There are also branches of Sizzler, Outback, and Tony Romas in Japan.
All of these foreign companies that have stores in Tokyo (How many of these have stores in your town? Do you shop at any of these?):
There are other foreign companies here, too…but you get the idea.
All of these foreign companies have to keep on their toes and provide the service and products that the Japanese expect…and for each of these foreign stores in Japan, there are Japanese companies that provide similar products that they have to compete with. But if the effort is worth it…Japan is the most profitable market for most of these companies.
Anyways, today is Valentine’s Day.
My wife and daughters made delicious chocolate for me. ♥
(Click here to read a post I wrote about Valentines Day in Japan).