Japan’s Rakuten Buys Chat App Viber for $900 Million to Expand Digital Empire

Source: Reuters

TOKYO, Japan — Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc, controlled by billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, will buy call and messaging app provider Viber Media Inc for $900 million in a deal that would more than double the number of users in its digital empire.

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Fast Retailing to List Hong Kong Receipts; Won’t Sell New Shares

Uniqlo Global Flagship in Tokyo's Ginza District | Source: Fast Retailing

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co., the Japanese clothing company on an overseas expansion drive, plans to list depositary receipts in Hong Kong. Fast Retailing doesn’t plan to sell new shares or raise funds through the listing, it said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The receipts will trade on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on March 5, it said.

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Fast Retailing Profit Beats Estimates as Per-Customer Sales Rise

Uniqlo Global Flagship in Tokyo's Ginza District | Source: Fast Retailing

TOKYO, Japan — Fast Retailing Co. profit rose 8.8 percent in the fiscal first quarter, beating analyst estimates, as the Japanese casual clothing chain that doubled in market value last year boosted sales per-customer.

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Bargain Cashmere Tests Thrifty Japan’s Taste for Little Luxuries

Uniqlo Fall 2013 Campaign Starring Chloe Sevigny | Source: Uniqlo

TOKYO, Japan — Cashmere sweaters at Uniqlo. Gourmet coffee and ice cream at 7-Eleven. These incongruously premium offerings by two of Japan's biggest retailers are part of a strategy to lift profit margins by enticing thrifty shoppers to splurge on little luxuries.

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Belle Buys Stake in Baroque Japan, Aims to Create Fashion Empire Across Asia

An advertising image for Moussy, one of Baroque Japan's many womenswear brands | Source: Baroque Japan

Baroque Japan — owner of womenswear brands including Moussy, Sly, Rodeo Crowns, Shelter, Black and Rienda — has a new Chinese majority shareholder, which already owns some 25 percent of the Chinese footwear market and aims to create one of the biggest fashion retailers in Asia. JapanConsuming reports.

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LVMH Raises Vuitton Japan Prices to Fight Weak Yen

TOKYO, Japan -- LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA raised some prices by an average 12 percent at its flagship brand in Japan, the unit’s biggest price hike, to offset the impact of the yen’s slide on sales. The Louis Vuitton brand raised prices Feb. 15, spokeswoman Kaori Fuse said. Retailers such as LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods maker, are confronting a plunge in the yen that undercuts the value of sales in Japan, the second-biggest market for personal luxury goods. The yen has depreciated against both the dollar and the euro as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked down the value of the currency, promising to implement policies to stimulate the economy and have Japan’s central bank set a…

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Japan does it better, Luxury bonds, Fashion revolution, CFDA controversy, Custom clothing

The Real McCoy's Tokyo | Source: One and Beyond

Made Better in Japan (WSJ) “Louis Vuitton sales are plummeting, and magnums of Dom Pérignon are no longer being uncorked at a furious pace. That doesn’t mean the Japanese have turned away from the world. They’ve just started approaching it on their own terms, venturing abroad and returning home with increasingly more international tastes and much higher standards, realizing that the apex of bread making may not be

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US malls’ occupancy crisis, Japan quake impact, Ad pages up, McQueen’s Savage Beauty, Enigmatic blog July Stars

Anna Dello Russo | Source: Industrie

Malls Face Surge in Vacancies (WSJ) “Even as the economy picks up steam, many of the nation’s malls and shopping centers are suffering a hangover due to changing consumer habits and the fallout from a massive building boom. Mall vacancies hit their highest level in at least 11 years in the first quarter… In the top 80 U.S. markets, the average vacancy rate was 9.1%, up from 8.7%.” Japanese retailers give

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