Analyst Insight by Pavel Marceux - Contributing Analyst, Technology, Communications and Media
Businesses are placing their resources into the online domain more than ever before as the festive season approaches, with digital battle lines being formed across web platforms. Even markets without traditional shopping spikes in December and November are beginning to tap into the festive mentality, with China’s Singles Day on November 11th becoming the world’s largest e-commerce event. As more of the global population comes online, increasingly through mobile platforms, the myriad of ways to interact with consumers continues to expand, with trends such as social commerce and “showrooming” likely to dominate the 2013 holiday season. However, bricks-and-mortar retailers without online, and particularly mobile, strategies will struggle to pull in the holiday spenders.
Continue reading "Festive E-Commerce: How Firms Are Chasing Digital Consumers During the Holidays" »
Analyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel
While in many peoples’ minds, it is synonymous with Hello Kitty merchandise and a quintessentially Japanese predilection for sugary appeal based on child-like design sensibilities, Kawaii culture is a trend that is manifesting itself globally. According to Teri J.Silvio, an academic at the Institute of Ethnology in Taipei City-based Academia Sinica: “Cute objects provide a respite from the struggles of daily life”.
A Japanese Speciality
In Japanese, Kawaii means cute or adorable. Kawaii has gradually gone from a small subculture in Japan to an important part of Japanese modern culture as a whole. Many bloggers feel that aspects of kawaii culture such as cosplay (where people dress up as characters from comic books or cartoons), maid cafés and computer games are drawing people closer to Japan. Japanese companies are skilled at transforming products and services not traditionally thought of as adorable or cuddly into the latest kawaii must-have trend. This includes anything from USB keys to police stations which have their own cartoon mascots to Nippon Airlines aeroplanes decorated with colourful anime characters, and even government safety signs featuring cute characters to convey serious messages. Mark Silato, a blogger on one of the many kawaii websites writes: “Regarding public notices in Japan, they sure beat Western ‘getting yelled at’ any day.”
Continue reading "Kawaii Culture: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Cuteness" »
Analyst Insight by Daniel Grimsey - Research Analyst
Air pollution is a major problem across the Asia Pacific region, responsible for over a million premature deaths each year. Consumers are understandably highly concerned and looking for solutions, with Vitamin C and Vitamin E pills increasingly being embraced for the purpose.
Where Breathing Is Hazardous To Your Health
The economies of Asia may have boomed in recent years, but this has not come without a price tag. Much of the cost is being paid by the Asian environment, with pollution becoming a key issue across Asia. Studies now indicate that the ubiquitous smog of Beijing and elsewhere across northern China is cutting over half a decade from the average life expectancy in the region, with other studies claiming air pollution was linked to 1.2 million deaths in China in 2010 alone. Other studies meanwhile suggest that the “Asian Brown Cloud” is responsible for the deaths of half a million Indians each year. Air quality amongst much of China and India is now considered either “hazardous” or “very unhealthy.” Consumers across the Asia Pacific region are understandably highly concerned about pollution – according to a poll by the Pew Research Centre, 47% of Chinese consider air pollution as a “very big problem” in 2013 up from 36% in 2012 - and are searching for solutions.
Continue reading "Is there an Over-the-Counter Solution for Air Pollution?" »
Analyst Insight by Neil King - Analyst, Automotive
Of the markets that Euromonitor covers, Hong Kong has the highest retail value sales of luxury goods per household, but it is especially striking that this is four times higher than consumer expenditure per household on the purchase of motor vehicles. Even in China, luxury goods sales only amount to 66% of consumer expenditure on buying motor vehicles. However, there are two very good reasons for this phenomenon in Hong Kong; luxury-obsessed consumers and low levels of private vehicle ownership.
Continue reading "Personal Vehicles a Rarity in Hong Kong; Consumers Spend on Luxury Instead " »
Analyst Insight by Daniel Solomon - Economist, Center for Analytics, Innovation and Modeling
The Japanese economy has been underperforming for several decades. After almost catching up with the US during the boom in the 1980’s, Japan seems to have been stuck at approximately 70% of the US level of income per capita (figure 1). The election of Shinzo Abe and the combination of easier monetary policy, fiscal expansion and promises of deeper structural reforms have significantly improved the outlook for Japan. This article explores alternative scenarios for Japan in 2014, developed using our global macroeconomic model (Euromonitor International’s Macro Model – EMM).
Figure 1: GDP per capita in Japan relative to the US, PPP adjusted
Source: Euromonitor International from IMF,OECD
Continue reading "Japan's Economy in 2014: Bear or Bull?" »
Analyst Insight by Media Eghbal - Country Insight Managing Editor
In November 2013, one of the strongest typhoons to make landfall since records began struck the central Philippines. It is too early to assess the full damage to the overall economy but Euromonitor forecasts a slight downward revision in real GDP growth in 2013 and 2014 (to around 7.0% and 6.5% respectively) in line with government estimates that the typhoon may reduce economic growth by as much as 1 percentage point in 2014. However, we believe that investors should not rule out the country’s long term potential as one of the next major emerging markets to watch globally. Furthermore, reconstruction efforts will provide a boost to economic growth in the impacted regions in the short term.
Continue reading "Risks and Vulnerabilities Philippines: Typhoons are a Risk but Don’t Rule out the Emerging Market Potential" »
Analyst Insight by Neil King - Analyst, Automotive
New passenger car registrations have essentially been declining in Japan since 1990 but premium brands have been steadily gaining in volume and thus also share, capturing 4.3% of the market in 2012. Premium cars actually had a higher market share in 2011 but this was of course artificially inflated as foreign brands dominate the premium segment and, unlike the indigenous carmakers, their supply was not significantly constrained by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Given the rising demand for premium cars in a car market that is declining, it is rather surprising that Toyota’s upscale brand, Lexus, was not introduced to Japan until 2005 – a staggering 16 years after its launch in the US. Nevertheless, this pales into insignificance compared to the 24 years that it has taken Nissan to finally launch its Infiniti premium brand in Japan.
Continue reading "To Infiniti and Beyond: Nissan Finally Launches its Premium Brand in Japan" »