Fashion chain WEGO CO., LTD. understands young people that like trends and is experiencing rapid growth as a result. The next goal is gaining fans even among those young people who are not into fashion. The company is carefully analysing the trends of diverse groups of young people, and working proactively to try concepts such as store events and collaborative products.


CEO Masashi Nakazawa explains: “We are always changing along with the times, whether it’s dokumo (amateur models who appear in fashion magazines), comics, or anime. We adapt flexibly to the trends of young people, and deal with things as they come. Those are the business conditions of WEGO.


Recently somebody told me to ‘try putting into words the WEGO concept to unite our employees.’ I thought a lot about it but it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t able to come up with anything good.

I don’t think we need to go so far as to say ‘WEGO is like so and so now.’ It’s enough if everyone thinks ‘this is about right.’ We only share the general framework, and it’s probably OK not to try and verbalize any core idea. I guess you could say that our general framework is no more than ‘No violence, politics, romance, or religion.’ We’re super laidback about this. And yet, the company is united. Amazing, right?


This year we are increasing subculture-related events that haven’t really been done much up until now. Whether it’s Korean-related, illustrator-related, or band-related, even among young people from the same age range, the various communities are all different. We try to approach things from a variety of angles instead of just one genre.


In 2020 I’m happy enough if sales reach 50 billion yen. Because if we grow too fast we’ll lose the time to develop our store managers.


WEGO business conditions from March through June of 2016 saw a 10% increase in sales across all stores, and current store sales are mixed, including stores whose results have not really changed one way or the other and stores whose numbers have slightly fallen compared to the previous year. Since current store sales have greatly expanded after about a 30% increase from the year before last and an approximately 20% increase from last year, I suppose it cannot be helped if there is a slight decrease.


Customer numbers are not changing but the average amount spent per customer is falling. The desire among consumers to be more frugal is strengthening, and I feel the severity of price competition. Even if we intend to lower prices, other stores will try to slip in with even lower prices. I feel that we need to maintain prices while trying to create even trendier and unique merchandise. We expect that WEGO’s store count for the full year will be 143 stores.


The upcoming autumn and winter seasons seem like they will bring more growth than we had in spring and summer. Growth in sales slowed in autumn and winter last year as merchandise shifted to meet more grown-up tastes. We will revise that this year by strengthening our merchandise policy for the youth, so I expect that sales will start to grow from around September.


For the fiscal year ending in February 2017 we expect WEGO business conditions to reach sales of approximately 38 billion yen (the previous fiscal year was 33.6 billion yen). The Shinsaibashi store which accounted for approximately 1 billion yen in yearly revenue alone closed in early July due to reaching the end of its contract, and so in anticipation of that impact we expect growth to slow more than last year.


As a result of our site renewal last year, e-commerce sales have been steady with an over 10% increase in revenues. The percentage of sales made through e-commerce is currently 12-13% but if we consider young people’s smartphone usage I think we can still grow this further. In the mid-to-long-term I’d like to increase this to 30%.


CEO Masashi Nakazawa