MARUI GROUP's History
Since its founding in 1931, MARUI GROUP has continued to innovate and evolve its unique business model, which merges retailing and finance, in line with changes in the times and in the needs of customers. Acting in accordance with the concept of co-creation of creditability—based on the belief of MARUI GROUP's founder that creditability should be built together with customers—we have continued to forge credit through trust built over long-term relationships by working together with and being empathetic toward customers. The founder also advocated a pioneer spirit of creating opportunities. This spirit propels us forward as we transform our business and create new demand and markets in response to changes in customer happiness or in society. Truly, this is MARUI GROUP’s enduring founding spirit: its spirit of innovation and evolution.
Business Structure Transformation
- Third Great Innovation
Third leader: Hiroshi AoiPeriod as president: from 2005
MARUI GROUP was forced to record losses on two occasions during the course of its history due to external factors. This development spurred MARUI GROUP to pursue innovations for responding to changes in customer consumption patterns and addressing long-term social issues. For example, we realigned our focus from catering primarily to younger generations to developing a business that wins the favor of customers. We also replaced our in-house credit cards with the multipurpose EPOS card. Meanwhile, we started transitioning our stores from the consignment buying system, which entails procuring and selling products, toward real estate-model shopping centers to enable them to provide both goods and experiences. This business structure transformation stabilized the earnings of stores, preventing exposure to downside risks, and also made it possible to undertake co-creation store development initiatives with customers and increase the number of visiting customers and purchases.
- Second Great Innovation
Second leader: Tadao AoiPeriod as president: 1972–2005 (33 years)
In the 1980s, the need for credit sales of durable goods declined, leading other stores using the monthly installment payment system to abandon retailing to focus on finance. MARUI GROUP, meanwhile, turned its attention to the growing field of fashion. This transition enabled us to include the younger generations that had previously been a neglected demographic. We thereby were able to stimulate new credit demand, revolutionizing credit sales without abandoning retail. As a result of this strategy, we achieved our peak performance in 1991.
- First Great Innovation
Founder: Chuji AoiPeriod as president: 1931–1972 (41 years)
MARUI GROUP's business initially involved selling furniture through monthly installment payments. Furniture in those days was exceptionally expensive, meaning that some people lacked the on-hand funds necessary to purchase furniture. We sought to include these individuals and address this issue through sales on installment payments, a scheme that merged retail and finance. The Company continued to contribute to affluence in each coming era by developing department stores that offered installment payment plans, issuing Japan's first credit card, and eventually introducing the industry's first computer.