Social Contributions through Reduction Initiatives
Introduced in 2010, the apparel recycling program entails collecting trade-ins of clothing and shoes so that these items may be reused (resold). In addition, we ask customers submitting trade-in items about their shoe-related concerns and use this information in the development of our Rakuchin Kirei series of private brand shoes, which feature not only appealing designs but also superior comfort delivered through sizes matched to customer feet. In developing these shoes, we have employed a process fine-tuned to addressing customer concerns. This process includes having customers participate in planning meetings and creating original shoe trees to expand the range of sizes we can provide. These efforts help to prevent products from going unused due to not matching customer needs, for example, being too painful to wear and thus getting thrown away, effectively expanding the function of the apparel recycling program to include the reduction of waste. We hope to contribute to the resolution of social issues through these efforts. Furthermore, we display the environmental impact from the entire lifecycle of our private brand products on product tags to propose new lifestyles by allowing customers to consciously choose eco-friendly products.
Reuse Promoted through Clothing and Shoe Trade-in Programs
In Japan, approximately 1.5 million tons of clothing items are thrown away each year, but less than 30% of these items are reused or recycled. To address this issue, we launched MARUI's trade-in program at Marui stores in 2010. Through this program, we work to contribute to society together with customers by allowing them to trade in clothing items and shoes that they no longer need. Trade-in items are either resold for reuse or are donated to provide disaster relief or support developing countries, effectively reducing the amount of clothing items and shoes that become waste.
Waste Reduction from Preventing the Creation of Products that Go Unused
MARUI GROUP views product creation as the act of making products that match the physical characteristics of individual customers. We facilitate these efforts by creating products together with customers and asking them directly about their concerns and needs. Surveys are also used for this purpose. It was through a survey that we learned of how many shoes are thrown away because of comfort or size issues that become apparent after their purchase. MARUI GROUP sought to rectify this issue by improving the comfort of shoes and expanding the range of available sizes to cover all customer foot sizes. In this manner, we endeavor to reduce waste by proposing products that perfectly match customers' needs and thereby preventing the creation of products that go unused.
Previous Reuse Initiatives
Current Reduction Initiatives
Social Contributions through Try-on Stores
Try-on stores, an initiative launched in September 2015, represent a new business model unique to MARUI GROUP that takes advantage of the framework of Internet sales. These stores are opened as short-term events in commercial facilities located in Hiroshima, Gifu, Nagoya, and other parts of Japan that lay outside of the areas served by Marui stores. Try-on stores focus on just that, allowing customers to freely try on product samples. When making purchases, customers can use one of the stores' dedicated tablets to order a product and have it sent to their home free of charge. Try-on stores are temporarily operated over a limited period, require less investment in store fixtures than would be necessary for opening a standard store, and have lower fixed rent fees. In addition, as only samples are displayed, there is no need for inventories. Accordingly, these stores boast low costs and low risk.
We are currently in the process of evolving this scheme to create new, permanent try-on stores that maintain the same sense of freedom. These stores are being systematically introduced into Marui stores.
Reduction Benefits of Short-Term Event Try-on Stores
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