Home furnishings retailer Nitori opens 2 outlets in Beijing

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Customers shop at a new store of Nitori Holdings Co. in Beijing.

BEIJING — Major furniture retailer Nitori Holdings Co. has opened two stores in Beijing, its first in the Chinese capital after making inroads into China in 2014.

The Beijing stores, which were launched Friday, are Nitori’s 58th and 59th in China.

The company aims to reach 100 by the end of next year.

The coronavirus pandemic and weak yen have negatively affected many Japanese companies’ business operations in China.

Nitori, however, has gone on the offensive, opening new stores by taking advantage of its mostly made-in-China products.

One of the new Nitori stores is located in Aeon Mall Beijing Fengtai, where an opening ceremony was held.

“We want to provide our customers with many products that will improve their lives by taking into account their complaints, their dissatisfaction and inconvenience in their daily lives,” said Ei Sugiura, president of Nitori’s China unit.

Because procurement costs for Nitori products sold in China are settled in the yuan, the company’s Chinese business has been largely unaffected by the rapid depreciation of the yen.

Additionally, transport costs within China are lower than fees for exporting.

“The more stores we have in China and the more sales we achieve, the more we can reduce the risk of the yen’s depreciation” for the Nitori group as a whole, Sugiura said.

On the domestic front, Nitori stores are being affected by the weak yen and rising costs of shipping from China.

Faced with this situation, the company in late September announced plans to raise the prices of some products, such as furniture, by about 10%-20%.

The Nitori group has about 860 stores, of which nearly 90% are in Japan.

The company aims to have 3,000 stores worldwide by 2032 and is focusing on expansion in China to achieve that goal.

As the United States has imposed punitive tariffs on imports from China, Nitori has announced plans to withdraw from the United States, where it currently runs two stores, by the end of 2023.