YKK invests to compete in entry-level segment
The Japanese zip-manufacturing giant is facing stiff competition from China, and has announced its intention of investing JPY277 billion (€2.297 billion) by 2020, seeking to establish itself in the entry-level zip segment.
This product segment applies notably the apparel, handbags and fashion accessories market, and its main manufacturers are to be found in China and elsewhere in Asia. No less than 60% of YKK's investment will be specifically targeted to Asia, as the Japanese manufacturer seeks to exploit growing local demand to reach sales of 12.9 billion units by the 2020 fiscal year.
This would mean doubling the sales volume which the group is expected to report in its 2016 consolidated results.
YKK's plans are all the more significant given that the group currently accounts for 40% of worldwide zip sales in value, but only 20% in volume, since its range relies heavily on quality and innovation. The remaining 80% of worldwide sales in volume reportedly comes from China, according to Japanese news group Nikkei.
"There is a limit to how much we can reduce costs for current output, so we are planning to manufacture items using an addition rather than subtraction approach," said YKK's President Masayuki Sarumaru, stating that manufacturing methods will be re-evaluated in order to make low-cost output profitable too.
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