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Japan’s used clothing has many takers in Southeast Asia

Secondhand Japanese clothing has great demand in Southeast Asia and China. Treasure Factory, which has about 180 locations in Japan, has two shops in Thailand, with plans to add eight more by 2021. The shops target customers in their 20s to 40s mainly selling T-shirts and pants from Japan.

Unlike Thai secondhand shops -- typically street stalls with items piled up randomly -- Treasure Factory operates out of buildings and carefully organizes items by type, such as jackets and pants. It also examines articles to detect stolen items and hazardous objects, such as needles. Since the beginning of fiscal 2018, Treasure Factory’s sales in Thailand are up 20 per cent.

Geo Holdings, an used clothing shop in Japan, opened the first of its planned 20 Malaysian stores in June. The stores will mainly sell shirts and jeans from the company’s Japanese stores. The company also hopes to supply local used clothing shops and will use its Malaysian base as a gateway for exports to neighboring southeast Asian countries.

Japan’s used goods market recorded an annual growth of 7.4 per cent in 2016. The aggregate gross profit margin for Japan’s general used merchandise businesses is about 65 per cent, which is higher than that of merchants dealing in new products.

 
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