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LOFT: The epicenter of Japan's trendsetting lifestyle

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Article - May 6, 2024

Koki Ando, the president of Japan's premier lifestyle and household goods specialty store, LOFT, shares insights on how the company captivates consumers with its unique blend of products, aiming to enrich lives and set trends in the retail landscape both domestically and internationally.

Amid Japan's bustling retail scene, LOFT stands as a beacon for shoppers seeking an immersive experience in trendsetting household and lifestyle goods. With its roots dating back to 1987, LOFT has revolutionized the concept of a specialty store, growing to 161 branches nationwide. As Koki Ando, president of the retail chain, shares, "LOFT is more than a store; it's a journey through the trends of the times, a place where customers come not only with a purpose but with the hope of discovering something special."

LOFT's innovative approach, focusing on an edited assortment of products that mirror evolving lifestyles and trends, has resonated with a wide audience. The company's philosophy, "Showcase of the Times," aims to present a curated collection of items that not only fulfill needs but also inspire new ways of living. For example, the company is working to create a new business model in collaboration with manufacturers and IP rights holders such as Japanese musicians, and manga, anime, and video game creators. This ethos has propelled LOFT into the hearts of consumers, offering an experience that extends beyond mere shopping.

In an age where digital interaction is paramount, LOFT's strategies, LOFT WAY and LOFT NEXT, emphasize the importance of connecting with customers both in-store and online. "Our goal is to enhance the joys and solve the problems in our customers' daily lives through our products and services," explains Mr. Ando. The LOFT app and social media platforms serve as crucial channels for sharing information and engaging with consumers, ensuring a seamless and enriching shopping experience.



A testament to LOFT's success and appeal is its expansion beyond Japan, with a strategic focus on East Asia, especially mainland China, and the establishment of franchise stores in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Ando is optimistic about the future, "We are exploring new markets, balancing between directly managed and franchise stores, to bring the LOFT experience to a global audience."

LOFT's unique selling proposition lies in its ability to create an entertaining shopping environment, one that invites exploration and discovery. "We aim to be a store that is strong in personal gifts, targeting women and the younger generation," Mr. Ando remarks. This differentiation strategy has enabled LOFT to carve out a niche in Japan's competitive retail market.

As LOFT continues to grow, it will continue to adhere to its purpose of creating new value in lifestyle through the power of “Zakka”, curating everyday lifestyle goods that complement contemporary living. Mr. Ando adds: “LOFT aims to be a century-old company that realizes our vision of being the No. 1 corporation producing ´Zakka’ culture.”

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