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May 6, 2020
A few days ago, Primo Japan, a Japanese wedding jewelry group, announced that as of the fiscal year of December 2020, it will continue to open stores of wedding jewelry brand I-PRIMO in China, hoping to promote double-digit sales growth in the Chinese market. In 2016, Primo Japan opened its first Chinese I-PRIMO store in Shanghai, and has since gradually expanded to cities such as Hangzhou and Shenzhen. As of December 2018, the business in the Chinese market started to be profitable, and the Group has accelerated the speed of opening stores. It plans to add 5 to 7 stores every year. In January 2019, the Group's eighth store in China and the first store in North China opened in Beijing apm shopping mall in Wangfujing. Primo Japan President Naoki Sawa pointed out that the outbreak caused the Group to adjust its store opening plan in China, but the mainland China market is still the main driving force for the Group ’s performance growth. Speed up shop opening. " Primo Japan currently has 11 I-PRIMO stores in mainland China, including 4 in Shanghai, 2 in Hangzhou and Beijing, and 1 in Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu. Outside of the mainland China market, Primo Japan will renovate and relocate its stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan to improve its performance in these markets.
Initially, Primo Japan mainly aimed at first-tier cities in the Chinese market, and recently began to consider entering second-tier cities. Naoki Sawano said: "We are a semi-custom wedding jewelry brand from Japan, which is a niche business, and the customer base is also smaller than originally set", or avoid focusing on opening stores in the same area. Primo Japan believes that even in second-tier cities, as long as the disposable income reaches 35,000 to 50,000 yuan, it may become a brand customer. In addition, the brand also plans to open a Tmall store in late April to further expand its reachable customer base and increase brand awareness.
In the Japanese domestic market, although the outbreak caused a decline in store visitor traffic, the overall wedding jewelry market was less affected, and it is expected that there will be a greater recovery after the end of the outbreak. For the core brand I-PRIMO, the focus will be on the renovation and relocation of existing stores. In addition, based on the existing wedding jewelry customer data, we will strengthen marketing for the anniversary. Primo Japan has introduced automated tools to assist sales staff in marketing, "has achieved results."
Primo Japan also established a new digital marketing department earlier to analyze data, plan and execute strategies. About two years ago, Primo Japan began implementing a multi-channel strategy to increase the proportion of e-commerce sales. Specific measures include: online services, store reservations, store pick-ups, and home delivery.
As of the fiscal year of December 2019, Primo Japan's sales and profits increased, including sales increased by 1.09% year-on-year to 20.671 billion yen (about 1.4 billion yuan), Japan's domestic sales fell, benefiting from mainland China The growth of market stores and existing stores in Taiwan performed well, and sales in overseas markets increased.
In 1999, Speedo, the predecessor of Primo Japan, was established in Tokyo. In 2004, it was renamed Primo Japan, focusing on the production, marketing, and retail of semi-custom wedding jewelry (including engagement rings and wedding rings). The main materials are: platinum, gold And diamonds.
In the 21 years since its establishment, Primo Japan has replaced 4 major shareholders. In 2004, event planning company MOC Corporation acquired Primo Japan and then sold it to Jupiter Investment, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Group, in 2007. It was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia in 2011 and was acquired by The Longreach Group in 2015.
(Note: MOC Corporation is mainly engaged in restaurant wedding planning, wedding banquet gift sales, etc. and has filed for bankruptcy in 2009)
In 2011, Primo Japan had annual sales of 11.8 billion yen and operating profit of 1.23 billion yen.
By the time it was acquired by The Longreach Group, the company had three brands: I-PRIMO (wedding jewelry brand, price 160,000 yen / RMB 10,000), Lazare Diamond (New York diamond jewelry brand, Primo is a Japanese agent, price JPY 170,000 / RMB 11,000) and SELEXIA (Internet brand, mostly designer models, price 130,000 JPY / RMB 8,500), a total of 88 branches are located in Japan (76) and China Taiwan (10 companies) and Hong Kong (2 companies).
The Longreach Group said at the time: "Primo has a significant market share in the Japanese market, is leading in engagement and wedding ring sales, and successfully entered the Chinese Taiwan and Hong Kong markets in overseas expansion. We believe this is an order Exciting investment opportunities, with a clear growth policy can lead the company forward, through its semi-customized wedding jewelry model, to realize the opportunities for further development of the domestic and Asian markets. This investment also reflects Longreach ’s investment theme focused on acquiring high quality Professional consumer business, and increase its value by improving business efficiency and opening up new markets (especially Asian markets). "
By 2016, Primo Japan sales increased to 19.3 billion yen. In 2018, it launched PROMIJE, an engagement ring brand sold on the Internet (price from 99,000 yen / RMB 6,500).
In February 2019, it was reported that The Longreach Group was preparing for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) for Primo Japan. Insiders said that The Longreach Group has cooperated with Nomura Holdings Inc. to discuss options including sale and listing. Primo Japan's valuation exceeds US $ 200 million.
The Longreach Group was founded in 2003 by Mark Chiba, a former banker of UBS Group AG (UBS Group). It is an investment fund focused on the Japanese and Asian markets, with offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Companies that have invested include: McDonald ’s Japan, OCC Corporation, First Kitchen Co. Ltd, Nippon Outsourcing Corporation, etc.