Channels in Japan


Evolution of Marketing Channels in Japan, Special issue of Journal of Marketing Channels, Edited by Chieko Minami; Deadline 31 Dec 2015

Journal of Marketing Channels
Call for Papers

Special Issue: “Evolution of Marketing Channels in Japan”
Guest Editor: Chieko Minami, Kobe University

The Journal of Marketing Channels is pleased to announce and invite submissions for a Special Issue on “Evolution of Marketing Channels in Japan”. The deadline for manuscript submission is December 31, 2015 with publication of accepted papers planned during late 2016 or early 2017.

Special Issue Background Information

It has been two decades since JMC featured the characteristics of the Japanese distribution system in 1994 as a Special Issue. Since then, Japan has experienced a long-term recession and two earthquake disasters. Nevertheless, the Japanese economy is starting to rebound and is pursuing growth again. A major challenge to the economy is that Japanese society is facing long-term demographic changes, such as aging of the population, overconcentration of the population in metropolitan areas, fewer children, and reduced size of households. These phenomena have changed consumption patterns, resulting in both opportunities and threats for marketers and members of distribution channels.

There has been some discourse about the uniqueness of the Japanese market and distribution system since the 1980s. Some of its unique qualities include smaller trade areas, a longer distribution chain, vertical integration of the distribution channels by manufacturers, and a distribution system that tends to exclude foreign capital. In fact, quite a few global retail chains have withdrawn from the Japanese market. However, the structure previously described has changed since the rise of mass merchandisers in the 1990s and more recently with the increase in Internet commerce. On the other hand, convenience store formats to target small trading areas have increased their presence.

The rapid demographic changes noted previously have affected consumers’ shopping patterns and the distribution system. Recently, while existing retail chains have been incorporated into several major retail conglomerates following mergers and acquisitions, new investors, such as general trading companies, have entered the retail industry. Moreover, the business system has shown innovation in the areas of service development in convenience stores and the integration of Internet commerce. Consumers in Japan, especially those in urban areas, are currently receiving great benefit from these innovations.

This Special Issue is designed to contribute to marketing channel research by focusing on the evolution of the distribution channel in Japan. It is worthwhile for researchers to focus on both the uniqueness and the universality of this evolution process. Revealing the dynamism behind the evolution is expected to contribute to new knowledge in this research field. Theories that explain the evolution and its dynamic forces are required, and various research approaches are welcome. We hope this Special Issue will be a good opportunity to bring about fruitful discussions that develop new knowledge and profound insight into marketing channel research.

We seek manuscripts addressing the following topics and beyond. Of course, this list is only for illustration of suitable topics and is not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive.

Some examples of research that would be especially welcomed include:

Conceptual Work on the Growing Complexity of Distribution Channels:

  • Evolutionary history of Japanese distribution channels.
  • Theoretical framework for channels of distribution.

Distribution Channels:

  • The macro trend of distribution channels.
  • The impacts of globalization on distribution channels.
  • Key success factors to manage distribution channels.
  • Key success factors for distribution channel management in cross industries.
  • The changes in the roles of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.
  • Multi-channel management strategies by manufacturers and retailers.

Retail Strategies:

  • Global retailers’ influence on Japanese markets.
  • The key variables in retail strategies.
  • The effects of retailers’ strategies on markets and industries.
  • Organizational factors in the retail business.
  • An explanatory study of best practices in the retail business.
  • The development of new retail formats and strategies.

Supply Chain Management:

  • Structural and functional changes in supply chain management.
  • Productivity in supply chain management.
  • New approaches in supply chain management.
  • The effects of new technology in supply chain management.
  • Collaborative roles in supply chain management.

Internet Commerce and Direct Marketing:

  • Theoretical development for Internet commerce.
  • The key variables of Internet commerce strategies and management.
  • New approaches to direct marketing.

Shopping Behavior:

  • The characteristics of the behavior of online shoppers.
  • Multi-channel selection behavior.
  • Shopping patterns across retail formats.

Submission Information

  1. Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  2. All manuscripts will be double-blind refereed. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically in Word format, and must be consistent with the author submission guidelines of the Journal of Marketing Channels which can be found at Click on the “Authors and Submissions” Tab. Papers should be in APA style, and normally should be no longer than 30 pages in length.
  3. Manuscripts should be received no later than December 31, 2015 with accepted papers published in late 2016 or early 2017. Please submit directly to the guest editor, preferably through email as a Microsoft Word attached document.

Chieko Minami
Professor of Marketing
Graduate School of Business Administration
Kobe University
2-1, Rokkodai, Nada, Kobe, JAPAN
Phone: +81 78 803 6931