Japanese retailer eyes Taiwan market

Huang Chiao-chang, left, chairman of Taiwan-based Tailung Capital Inc., congratulates Kiyoo Matsumoto, president of Matsumoto Kiyoshi Co., after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday, Oct. 13., 2017. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Matsumoto Kiyoshi Co., one of the leading drug and cosmetics store chain operators in Japan, is planning to have a foothold in Taiwan.

Kiyoo Matsumoto, president of the firm, signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday with Huang Chiao-chang (黃教漳), chairman of Taiwan-based Tailung Capital Inc. (台隆企業), for the two companies to cooperate in helping the Japanese retailer enter the Taiwanese market.

Among those witnessing the signing ceremony were Taiwan’s Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI) Chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄), and a representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Kimio Numata.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Matsumoto said the Japanese retail chain opened its first overseas outlet in Thailand in 2015 and currently, operates 12 stores in the Southeast Asian country.

He said Taiwan will become Matsumoto Kiyoshi’s second overseas investment destination, hoping that its presence will bring pleasant shopping experiences for Taiwanese consumers.

Japan is one of the favorite destinations for Taiwanese travelers. Many Taiwanese like shopping in Japan’s major drug and cosmetics store chains, like Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Huang, whose company Tailung has served as a distributor of Japanese ice cream brand MEJI and has operated a joint miscellaneous goods product retail shop chain in Taiwan — Hands Tailung –, said his firm has devoted itself for a long time to enhancing economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Huang said he expects Matsumoto Kiyoshi Co. to become one of the retail anchors here and enhance Taiwanese consumers’ trust in Japanese brands.

Tailung said both sides need more time to hammer out details for their future cooperation, including a timeframe to open the first store in Taiwan.

As a ranking government official, Kung said Taiwan’s government always welcomed foreign investments, seeing them as helping the country enhance its ties with the global market.

Kung added that economic cooperation between Taiwan and foreign investors will pave the way for future efforts to penetrate the Southeast Asian market under the government’s New Southbound Policy, which aims to advance ties between the island and the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Matsumoto Kiyoshi, established in 1932, currently runs more than 1,500 stores around Japan. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. 

By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang