Friday, August 17, 2007

Japan: Hokuriku Intensifying Non-Apparel Use

The Hokuriku weaving district is well-known for its lightweight polyester fabrics for women's apparel; however, it is going to make a shift in its structure by developing nonapparel applications because of the continued stagnation in that segment. Firms in this producing district have launched into

a structural conversion, intensifying sportswear, innerwear and uniforms instead of fashion wear. Along with these movements, these firms have expanded the scope of their business into the non-apparel segment including interior goods and industrial materials, based on the technological capabilities that these firms have nurtured for many years. Five years ago, Marubeni Corporation closed its branch in Fukui, one of the centers in the Hokuriku weaving district, but it reopened this branch last fall. The Fukui branch will do business with a focus on the nonapparel segment. Of Marubeni's Hokuriku business, the non-apparel segment already accounts for 60%.