There hasn’t been a high-profile story of defective Chinese goods for a little while, but the trend toward quietly pulling them is continuing:
One by one, convenience stores and supermarkets are making moves toward replacing Chinese food imports with domestic products and non-PRC imports. 99 Plus Corporation, which developed the everything-99-yen convenience store, will phase out frozen foods from the PRC starting this month and replace them with domestic equivalents. Ito Yokado and Inageya have switched from PRC-produced matsutake mushrooms to those from Canada. In each case, the trend towards consumers’ avoiding Chinese products because of concerns over safety is noticeable, and it is possible that other retailers will make similar moves.
99 Plus Corporation will gradually stop offering frozen foods from China such as pilaf and gyoza dumplings in its 800 Shop 99 stores nationwide. PRC products have made up about half of the frozen food items it offers, but it has investigated which items have ready substitutes and will replace most of them with domestic products. In order to maintain its everything-99-yen pricing, it will decrease per-package quantities in cases where supply costs increase by a wide margin.
The stores in question move a lot of food.
One of the tie-ups the new Japan Post conglomerate has already scored is with Nippon Express (Nittsu) for package processing. Yu-Pack has an extensive delivery network for small parcels, and Pelican has its strengths in the corporate market. The brands will remain separate, but the companies hope to combine their logistical advantages to their mutual profit. (Naturally, there may also be mutual shareholding. *sigh*) The post and package arms of Japan Post have the lowest profit potential, so this first large-scale partnership will be important.