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Inclusive Product Development

MARUI GROUP views product creation as the process of developing products that match the physical characteristics of customers. We are thus establishing development and sales frameworks for supplying products that benefit all customers, excluding no one regardless of their physical characteristics. We thereby seek to create new demand.

Needs Related to Shoe Sizes

The foot sizes of adult women in Japan are said to range from 20.5 cm to 26.0 cm. However, the standard range of shoe sizes offered by the Japanese apparel industry is from 22.5 cm to 24.5 cm, which covers only 72% of this range of foot sizes. With the Rakuchin Kirei series of shoes, we expanded the range of sizes we offer from 7 sizes to 16 sizes, covering foot sizes from 19.5 cm to 27.0 cm, in order to accommodate customers wanting to buy shoes that were previously unable to due to their physical characteristic of having small or large feet. The Rakuchin Kirei series now covers 100% of foot sizes in Japan.

Expansion of Shoe Size Range to
Cover 100% of Foot Sizes

Sales of Women's Shoes: Rakuchin Kirei Series

Customer Participation in Product Development

At the time when development of the Rakuchin Kirei series of shoes was first started, a survey of EPOS cardholders indicated that around 90% of them had felt discomfort with their shoes. This survey made it clear that customers were unable to find pumps satisfying all of their needs with regard to fashion, comfort, and affordability. We thus vowed to create just such shoes. We began by measuring customers' feet and analyzing the results to make original shoe trees. We then held product development meetings together with customers that had expressed dissatisfaction with the comfort of their shoes.

The Rakuchin Kirei series of shoes only consists of those products able to receive qualifying scores of more than 80 points out of 100 from customers after being refined through an ongoing cycle of thinking and creating prototypes together with customers.

Try-on Stores Serving Customers Nationwide

Try-on stores are short-term events held at shopping centers, including those other than Marui and Modi stores, throughout Japan to encourage customers to purchase Rakuchin Kirei series shoes. Samples of all shoe sizes are displayed to allow customers to verify the comfort of these shoes at their own leisure. Moreover, these stores address an issue behind the shoe industry's choice to offer only "standard" sized shoes: that expanding size ranges means increasing inventories, which lowers profit. By operating try-on stores, which feature low fixed rent and do not require inventories, in an integrated manner, we aim to deliver joy to as many customers as possible.

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.

Employee Comment

Natsumi Iwasa
Leader, Development & Sales Section,
Omni-Channel Retailing Division
Delivery of Marui Products to Customers in Regions without Marui or Modi Stores
Try-on stores are often set up in regions without a Marui or Modi store, providing opportunities for various new customers to experience our Rakuchin Kirei series of shoes. Many customers look forward to these events and some travel great distances to come, which provides a source of motivation. Considering that our mission is to serve our customers, I believe that having representatives from internal product development divisions as well as from divisions that do not normally interact with customers, such as logistics, tablet development, and FinTech divisions, meet with customers can help further the evolution of our product development ventures and services. Try-on stores are a completely new method of selling, a departure from conventional practices advanced by the Group in an integrated manner. Going forward, I hope to make these stores into venues for taking on new challenges while working together with everyone.

Inclusion and New Demand Creation

A large portion of customers purchasing shoes at try-on stores were buying newly introduced sizes (19.5–22.0 cm, 25.0–27.0 cm). The world is filled with people with a diverse range of physical characteristics, including small-bodied men, large-bodied women, and members of the LGBT community. In its product creation ventures, MARUI GROUP aims to provide fulfilling lifestyles for all customers while also creating products that are feasible from a business standpoint. By expanding the size ranges and improving the comfort of various products, we hope to supply products that bring joy to all customers in order to promote inclusion and create new demand.

Comparison of Sales in Marui Stores and Try-on Stores

Provision of Safe and Trustworthy Products

MARUI GROUP aims to live up to the trust of its customers and continue to provide them with safe and trustworthy products. For this reason, we have established the MARUI GROUP Quality Standards, a unique set of standards that we expect all suppliers to adhere to.

To help customers continue using the products they purchase for as long as possible, we have established a section on MARUI's website through which customers can view online instructional content regarding product usage as well as information on the characteristics of materials and how they should be maintained. We thereby allow customers to access information related to their products whenever necessary. In addition, we supply customers with cards containing information on the handling of products that use materials or processing methods warranting special caution at the time of purchase.

For Shokuyukan food sales areas, we have similarly established unique Bacteria Inspection Standards and Measure Management Standards to guarantee the utmost quality of products sold therein.

Quality inspections conducted by specialists

Explanation of handling methods for specific materials

Responsible Procurement Activities with Business Partners

The Marui Group Procurement Policy was formulated in April 2016 to serve as a roadmap for practicing responsible procurement together with business partners across the entire supply chain in relation to the development of private brands. To disseminate this policy, we held explanatory forums with approximately 100 partners. Surveys were then distributed and on-site investigations were conducted by dedicated staff from the Sustainability Department. The findings of these activities have been shared with partners. Moreover, based on the opinion of a third-party institution, we adopted an approach emphasizing mutual cooperation in encouraging business partners to adhere to this policy.

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