Japanese companies eye Indonesia

15 February 2013

JAKARTA: Uniqlo, the clothing giant, and AEON, the retailer, are set to open outlets in Indonesia as Japanese companies seek to capitalise on fast-growth Asian markets.

Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's owner, plans to open its first Indonesian store in south Jakarta, which, at 2,680 square metres, will be one of its largest outlets in Southeast Asia.

"The fashion market in Indonesia grew rapidly in the past few years and we see great potential here," said Naoki Otoma, chief executive of Uniqlo Asia Pacific.

He added that a further nine stores are planned over the next three years, as the company seeks to tap into the growing spending power of the Indonesian middle classes.

Other Japanese retailers have already established a presence; Muji, for example, has a total of six stores.

At the same time, Japanese retailer AEON is set to enter the country with a double focus. One subsidiary, AEON Indonesia, will concentrate on the retail business, while another, AEON Mall Indonesia, will target the development of shopping malls.

"We predict that in the near future, middle-class customers will no longer be satisfied with the existing services and products," said Toyofumi Kashi, AEON Indonesia president.

"We will offer alternatives in shopping services, product quality and the shopping environment ," he declared.

Nor is it just Japanese retailers who are interested in Indonesia. Automaker Nissan plans to revive its Datsun marque as a no-frills car for emerging markets and sees Indonesia as capable of generating annual sales of 100,000 by 2017.

Data sourced from Jakarta Globe/Jakarta Post/Reuters; additional content by Warc staff