Recently, the world around us has changed substantially, making it increasingly difficult for us to predict our future. The intensification of global warming, in particular, has not only brought more typhoons and unprecedented rainfalls in Japan, but it is also causing extreme weather and consequent droughts and floods in many parts of the world. Those natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe. Further, the global spread of COVID-19 has had a vast impact on every economic activities and has transformed our society completely. The pandemic shows no signs of abating, forcing us to accept new rules and new ways of living.
Amidst all this, it has become essential, for corporate survival, to commit, and to struggle with environmental issues and social problems through business activities.
Overviewing the department store industry, in which our Group is doing business, domestic market has gone through striking changes, both quantitative and qualitative, due to the simultaneous progression of population decline, falling birthrate and aging population, and the polarization in income distribution and in consumption patterns. Most significantly, our customers’ lifestyles and values are now renewed, which has markedly changed their ways of buying things. We have long been told that, in an age of diversity, mass marketing is no longer relevant, and it appears that we have finally entered an era in which we must truly lean into each and every individual customer’s preferences. Department stores today need a huge transition to a new, more evolved business model.
In the framework of medium-term management plan we have announced this year, “high sensitivity, fine quality” is declared as a key strategy, which is one of the directions we aim for transition. Some may assume that “fine quality” means that we are only interested in affluent customers, but this is certainly not the case. Even as the social environment and values have changed, the aspiration of customers to enrich and improve their lives will stay unchanged. By shifting our approach toward personal marketing, we will firmly meet the market’s need for “fine quality,” and respond to each customer’s individual wishes for an enriched life, then more customers will yearn for such life. This is why we have identified a CRM strategy of “connections with customers” as a key strategy in the medium-term management plan’s framework. Another key strategy is “stronger intra-Group coordination.” This is because the entire Group needs to devote all its efforts to meet customers’ requirements. We see this as of immense importance for the Group to become more deeply involved in our customers’ lives in the future.
Furthermore, digitalization has been accelerated in the department store industry, a trend that has been pushed further by the COVID-19 pandemic. In FY2020, we conducted a major redesign of the Isetan Mitsukoshi Online Store, and customers are now able to enjoy a pleasant shopping experience without leaving home. This includes the provision of a new service, Mitsukoshi Isetan Remote Shopping Application, whereby customers can make online purchases from brick-and-mortar stores from the comfort of their own homes. The Group will continue its efforts to expand shopping experience value through the integration of real stores and online stores to establish a new business model in response to the changes in the business environment.
Within the origins of the Group, there is a corporate culture that has been built up through the long respective histories of the four brands, Mitsukoshi, Isetan, Iwataya, and Marui Imai, and this corporate culture has made social and economic value compatible. This culture is an abiding, fundamental spirit we have inherited from the past and we will pass it on to the future along with the mottos of “spirit of cordiality,” “mutual prosperity,” and “new challenges.”
When Mitsukoshi was first founded as Echigoya in 1673, it proposed a style of “in-store selling” and “cash only, no credit,” becoming the first in the world to create a store in which anyone could purchase the same goods at the same price. The fundamental spirit behind that style was passed down as a management philosophy of “mutual benefit,” which led to the Group’s mission of achieving sustainable corporate growth by enriching the lives of customers.
In 1904, Mitsukoshi made a “Department Store Declaration,” showing the world a uniquely Japanese model of department store where various products are displayed, with pleasant hospitality offered to everyone. This “Department Store Declaration” was a revolutionary innovation which changed not only customers’ ways of shopping, but also their lifestyles themselves. That same year, an exhibition of the works of Ogata Korin was held in the sore, in a bid to promote culture, offering customers the enjoyment of appreciating artworks alongside the enjoyment of buying them. In later years, Isetan also declared mottos of “ingenuity and creativity” and “sensibility and science,” establishing a common fundamental spirit with Mitsukoshi, and it is engaged in innovations offering groundbreaking proposals which match with customers’ interests.
In 1923, the Great Kanto Earthquake struck Tokyo. Mitsukoshi and Isetan each procured and supplied goods to secure the lives of people affected by the disaster, contributing to the restoration of society. Prioritizing payment to their business partners with the cash they obtained, they strived to continue their businesses while aiming for mutual prosperity with all stakeholders.
That spirit has also been passed on to “think good” initiatives currently being pursued by the Group’s department stores. With “think good” as our slogan, based on the Group’s Basic Policy on Sustainability, we pursue sustainability initiatives through our main business activities with the three main pillars of i) assorting products responsible for the global environment including ecosystems, people working for and social issues; ii) promoting the 4Rs (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle); and iii) disseminating culture, technology, and sensibility. These efforts only began in April 2021, but already, the number of initiatives has exceeded 480, and our efforts are attracting a great deal of attention both inside and outside the Group.
In these ways, we have strived not only to generate profits through our business activities, but also to solve a variety of social issues, sharing abundance with our stakeholders. This philosophy is the essence of Creating Shared Value (CSV) and is the core value of the Group’s existence.
As we stride toward the next era, we will hold onto the management philosophy, corporate attitude, and innovation-creating values described here. As the “number one and only one company that makes a statement on the global stage from Japan,” we intend to further promote business management with a greater awareness of sustainability.
When we look toward our future, we envisage that the changes in work styles and lifestyle values, digitalization, and the penetration of remote working will give people more choices, such as returning to the regions or relocating to livable towns that suit their individual values. Further, instead of the overconcentration in the cities, both cities and local economies will grow and prosper while connected to each other, and there will be a change toward ways of living that seek a new “emotional richness.”
The presence of our department stores in such a future will be shaped by going back to where we started. In other words, approaching every individual customer with sincerity, proposing rich lifestyles and offering solutions to customers’ concerns. That is the Group’s meaning of existence and mission. The stores may look different from how they appear today. But even so, to become a “unifying force of the town,” our department stores will work together with the local communities to create an appeal that makes the most of that town’s characteristics and improves the access and convenience of movement. It will be essential for the future “urban development” to be responsible for the environment and to create communities that bring many diverse people together. This is the role, one that goes beyond the boundaries of the department store, that our Group must fulfill.
We will send out the characteristics of each communities through initiatives in conjunction with local communities to revitalize the town’s central business district and create places that people will visit to have fun. With local private-sector companies playing a central role, if local governments are also drawn in, and people are given richness and comfort, the town will become livelier and become a place where people and information come together.
Goods and events that are created through the Group’s urban development will offer a sense of reliability and trust and bring richness to customers’ lives. Customers will know that they can go there to obtain a variety of information and connections with the community. The experiences to be gained there will draw exclamations of delight from customers. That is our meaning of existence as a department store.
From now on, taking maximum advantage of the goodwill cultivated over the long histories of Mitsukoshi, Isetan, Iwataya, and Marui Imai, we will create new businesses across the entire Group that will be built on the relationship of trust we hold with our stakeholders, building up those businesses one by one. We will also place the sustainability initiatives undertaken to date by the individual companies in the Group at the center of our Group-wide efforts and pursue them alongside the medium-term management plan’s “stronger intra-Group coordination” strategy.
In the medium-term management plan, we have defined as our long-term vision ‘to be a “special” department store-centered retail group that enriches the lives of its customers.’ The word “special” is imbued with our intention to become the number one and only one department store that will attract customers from around the world by delivering exciting solutions and innovative offerings. This will require all Group employees to take on the challenge of creating a future through “special” department stores with boldness and to grow individually as the bearers of CSV who will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
I hope that you, our stakeholders, will look forward to the rich future that we intend to achieve.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group Standards of Corporate Ethical Behavior are the foundation, for each and every person working in the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group, to practice Our Philosophy. They are standards for daily behavior.
Revised November 2018
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group respects the human rights of the various stakeholders concerned with its corporate operations, including customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities. The Group will educate all of its officers and employees about this policy and also strive to keep everyone aware and informed so as to ensure consideration is given to human rights throughout the supply chain.
1. Respect for Human Rights
We respect the human rights and personal dignity of all people concerned with our corporate operations. We see the various issues related to human rights as issues that each and every one of us should address.
2. Compliance and Fair Employment
We support and respect international norms related to human rights. We comply with international treaties and relevant laws applied in each of the countries and regions connected to our business activities, and we abide by fair employment and working conditions.
3. Prohibition of Unfair Labor
We abide by sound labor based on individuals’ voluntary intentions, with no unfair labor such as child labor or forced labor that results in the abuse of human rights.
4. Prohibition of Harassment
We reject such acts as emotional, physical, and sexual harassment that damage individuals’ character or dignity. We aim for considerate speech and conduct as well as sound communication, and we establish trusting relationships.
5. Respect for Diversity
We respect diverse values and seek value in each other’s differences. We strive to create workplaces where all individuals can fulfill their potential and to implement work style reforms for that same purpose.
6. Prohibition of Discrimination
We respect diverse personal qualities. We make sure that there is no discrimination based on such things as race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, place of origin, age, disease, disability, or employment status, and ensure that no acts are committed that damage individuals’ dignity.
7. Maintenance and Improvement of Health
We strive to enhance employees’ awareness of health and to create an environment where they can maintain and improve their own health.
8. Ensuring Occupational Safety and Hygiene
We abide by laws and company rules related to the workplace environment. We create well-ventilated, safe, and hygienic working environments.
Established November 2018
1. Compliance and Fair Trade
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group (hereinafter the “Group”) shall comply with international treaties applied in each of the countries and regions where the Group undertakes business activities, relevant laws, regulations and other requirements, and shall engage in transparent and appropriate transactions based on fair and free competition.
2. Quality Control
The Group shall ensure the safety and peace of mind of its customers by making constant efforts to improve the quality of commodities and services based on its quality control systems.
The Group shall speedily and accurately disclose information required in connection with the quality and safety of commodities and services.
The Group shall try to make the sustainability of the global environment compatible with business growth and corporate value enhancement by aggressively challenging the solution of social issues suited to sustainable development goals (SDGs) shared worldwide.
4. Responding to Biodiversity
The Group shall comply with international treaties, relevant laws, regulations and the like in order to keep enjoying the bountiful blessings of biodiversity. The Group shall make efforts so that its entire supply chains can take actions, including the elimination of illegal transactions, fishing, gathering and logging, for procuring materials in such manners that give consideration to biodiversity.
5. Reducing Environmental Loads and Preventing Pollution
The Group shall try to build distribution systems that impose a reduced burden on the environment through supply chains.
The Group shall work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent pollution for easing climate change.
6. Controlling Waste Discharges and Recycling Resources
The Group shall work to control waste discharges, process wastes properly and recycle resources across supply chains to achieve the goal of a sustainable, recycling-oriented and resource-conserving society.
In addition, the Group shall try to recycle water resources and manage drainage appropriately.
7. Eliminating Chemical Substances
The Group shall not deal with commodities in which chemical substances and raw materials prohibited by international treaties, relevant laws, regulations and the like are used.
8. Respecting Human Rights and Prohibiting Unfair Labor Practices
The Group shall respect the human rights and dignity of all individuals who take part in its business activities.
The Group shall procure commodities by means of labor based on the voluntary intentions of individuals free from unfair labor such as child labor and forced labor.
9. Employment, Working Conditions, Safety and Hygiene
The Group shall try to procure commodities manufactured and distributed under proper employment arrangements for all people involved in its business activities and working conditions that are safe and hygienic.
10. Managing Information (Secret Information, Personal Information, Etc.)
The Group shall prepare appropriate information management systems in order to prevent secret information and personal information gained through transactions from becoming disclosed to any third party. The Group shall limit the use of such information to the achievement of its business objectives.
11. Protecting Intellectual Property Rights, Etc.
The Group shall respect the rights of right holders who own intellectual property rights, such as trademark rights, design rights and patents. At the same time, the Group shall refrain from dealing with commodities that infringe on the intellectual property rights of any third party.
12. Excluding Antisocial Forces
The Group shall not deal with any antisocial force.
* The Group shall revise this Policy in response to changes in social conditions and new information.
Established in May 2018