Japan
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“The fitness wearable space is becoming increasingly crowded and many users are feeling their excitement wane. Japanese startup Moff, however, believes the space still has plenty for innovation.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Moff
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“Rakuten, Japan’s top online retail firm, has pulled an Amazon after it launched its own branded Android app store today. The company is promising that ‘Rakuten App Ichiba’ will not only give customers a chance to gain loyal points from money spent on Android apps, but furthermore it’ll offer stronger security measures than Google’s own app store.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Rakuten
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“Rakuten — Japan’s answer to Amazon with e-commerce operations and investments that stretch from digital media and e-commerce marketplaces through to social media and transport apps — is making another acquisition to expand its holdings, this time in the area of fashion.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rakuten x Fit.me
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“A Japanese design studio, Nendo, has designed a beauty products store where the products are displayed on a shelves which mirror the layout of a library. The result is aesthetically pleasing, with the bonus feature of being intuitive to navigate by anybody familiar with looking for books.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nendo

Image source: www.businessdestinations.com/

Before setting up in New York and Milan in the autumn, Decoded Fashion is heading East – on 9 July, we will be partnering with Condé Nast Japan to host our first Tokyo Summit. Bringing together the biggest names in luxury, fashion and retail technology in Japan and from the UK and the US, the day will see brands, publishers and technology start-ups presenting their case for how fashion can engage with tomorrow’s consumer in a digital world.

With founders and execs from Google, the Business of Fashion, Farfetch and AllSaints due to attend, some of the industry’s most successful storytellers will be bringing key insights to Tokyo – but what about the home-grown talent in the city? In Tokyo, where investors have been cautious to get behind start-ups, the beginnings of a retail technology scene have been slow to get up and running. But the scene has gained serious momentum in 2015, with exciting trends from the technology world colliding with the needs of retailers and consumers alike.

Here’s our rundown of the top trends coming out of Japan right now – and, if you’re local, you can book tickets to the summit here.

Social Media as E-Commerce? Line Got There First

With news of Instagram and Pinterest’s plans to make their platforms shoppable hitting the radar this month, it might surprise you to know that a popular Japanese messaging app got there first.

Big in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and other Asian countries, Line’s initial launches were commerce-led pilots such as flash sales and a consumer-to-consumer standalone marketplace app, Line Mall. Last summer, Line Shop was launched – a standalone app that connects bricks-and-mortar and online brands with users. Earlier this year, the chat app even moved into delivering groceries in Southeast Asia, promoting various deals for the delivery of online-to-offline goods via the messaging app.

Tying the various shopping pilots together, Line Pay is the app’s payment service, allowing users to make payments via the chat app itself – spearheading the trend that companies like Facebook and Snapchat are now experimenting with.

Isetan Department Store is Embracing the Apple Watch

Alongside high-end, trendsetting stores Colette Paris and London’s Dover Street Market, Tokyo’s Isetan department store was among the first to sell the Apple Watch in April – further confirming the tech giant’s new edge when it comes to luxury strategy. Isetan has gone one step further by building a store specifically for the watch on the ground floor, nestled between Cartier and women’s high-fashion clothing.

Elsewhere in Japan, mobile carrier SoftBank will also sell the Apple Watch through its stores – but for the luxury gold editions, the trend-setting Isetan is the retail destination of choice. Catch Isetan’s president and CEO Hiroshi Onishi in conversation with Imran Ahmed (Business of Fashion) at the Tokyo Summit, where they will discuss the changing face of retail today.

M-Commerce has a Tokyo Trailblazer

New start-ups in Tokyo are beginning to disrupt the status quo on the retail scene, and one m-commerce company has recently hit the headlines for receiving the equivalent of $13.3m in series B funding.

Origami, which has attracted more than 800 retailers to its platform since launching in April 2013, pioneers an online-to-offline model that allows retailers to bridge the digital and physical spaces of their shops. The mobile app allows users to follow retailers, receive updates on new items and, ultimately, purchase products in-app or in-store.

With new investment from SoftBank Group, the app will utilise the parent company’s CouponGATE technology, allowing retailers to distribute vouchers for product vouchers or discounts via physical voucher-issuing machines. Catch founder Yoshiki C. Yasui at the Tokyo Summit.

Meet Pepper the Robot

Also making an appearance at the Tokyo Summit, Pepper the Robot is Japan’s latest robotic star – except this one can be yours for 198,00 yen, or around £1,000. Developed by Softbank, it completely sold out in under a minute when it went on sale over the weekend. Why is everyone so excited? Pepper can detect human emotions such as anger, joy and sadness – check out our 4ft-high attendee for yourself at the summit next month.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“If you are a human who works at the Kawada factory outside Tokyo, most of your coworkers are robots. On the assembly line, the company’s uber-advanced, human-looking robots can do the work of three people. They can also make you a decent cup of coffee.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Japan x Robot
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“While Arcadia Group continues to expand Topshop’s global empire through a combination of company-owned stores, department store concessions and franchise locations, it has reportedly cut back in some markets — that is to say, in Japan.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Topshop
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“If you haven’t heard of Rakuten, think of it as the Amazon or Alibaba of Japan. Founded in 1997, the e-commerce company brought in 518 billion yen in revenue last year — that’s around $4.9 billion.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Rakuten
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“16 Lab, a start up in Japan, will try to find out next year when it comes out with a ring that can be used as a mouse, a wallet or a remote control.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - 16 Lab