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Interview With Zhensue Ryu, Founder Of Kamakura Shirt: Is It Necessary To Have A Sense Of Happiness Or Scale?

2019/11/22 18:04:00 0

Kamakura Shirt

Three years ago, it was also an autumn. I heard the speech of Kamakura founder Zhensue Ryu at an event. He heard he said he was 53 years old, and was determined to be a high performance price ratio, never failing shirt brand. I had just been in business for two years to meet the bottleneck. I was moved by the entrepreneurial spirit of the old man, and instantly became a fan of his, and went back to write an explosive article.
Unexpectedly, three years later, it was autumn. I saw the old man again. In November 7th, Kamakura shirt opened in China's first flagship store in Kerry Center, Shanghai. (hereinafter referred to as Kamakura China's first store), I shook hands with the old man at their press conference. When his colleagues introduced me, he said, "I remember you. We met in Beijing before."
The nearly 80 year old father is so good at remembering that he met with a hurried face three years ago.
Three years later, it will be hard to meet again. How can I miss the opportunity to interview the old man? Although he was very busy at the opening ceremony, he still took time to chat with the naughty electric supplier about his business ideas and his views on the Chinese market.
Kamakura's first store opened in China at a very special time. In November 7th 26 years ago, 53 year old Zhensue Ryu and his wife, Zhen Wei Min Zi, set up the first shop shirt shop on the two floor of a convenience store in Kamakura. In November 7th, they started their business day. At this particular time, the first shop opened in China, which represents Kamakura's special feelings for the Chinese market.
In fact, 10 years ago, when Kamakura had already been a famous Japanese brand, but it was only sold in Japan, its Chinese fans applied to Kamakura to apply for a shop in China. However, Zhensue Ryu replied after deliberation that if he could not succeed in Europe and America, he would not be admitted to the Chinese market.
Because Western-style shirts originate in Europe and America, Chinese consumers will be more inclined to recognize European and American brands. If Kamakura can succeed in Europe and America, they can be recognized by Chinese consumers.
So, despite all opposition, Zhensue Ryu resolutely entered New York first. It sounds that at that time, Mr. Chen, who was nearly 70 years old, was a little stubborn. In fact, he had the bottom of his mind. Before entering New York, he sent his shirt to a British designer who worked with him. He asked the other party for advice. "Do you think our shirt can be recognized by consumers in the west?"
The British designer also took part in the opening ceremony of Kamakura's first store in China. He recalled that at that time he was surprised to see that he had sent his shirt, and lamented that the Japanese were too strong in detail innovation. The shirts were more meticulous than the western brands, so they told the Zhen Junjun that you would succeed in the field of Europe and America.
With the encouragement of British designers and the help of many European and American friends, Kamakura stores in Madison Avenue, New York, were able to come out, because the landlords of the store heard that they were Japanese shirts brands to rent stores, and they did not rent them to them. They thought they could not do the Western shirts, but it turned out that they had achieved black words in second years (Ying Li). This is the first time that Asian business clothing brands have taken a firm foothold in the western world.
In the next few years, Kamakura ran smoothly in the United States and opened second stores in brin square, especially in 2017, which was praised by yelp as the popular five-star store.
The most gratifying thing for Zhensue Ryu is that Kamakura was selected as one of the ten most popular shirts by GQ magazine in 2019 and ranked first in the US GQ website.
GQ is the vane of the global fashion industry. I asked him, how did you get the recognition and praise of the most high-end platform of the fashion festival?
As a result, Mr. Jung did not know that they did not contact GQ and did not provide samples for the jury wear test. In fact, the editors of the "GQ" wore their own clothes, combined with user feedback, scored each selected garment, and finally summarized the scores and selected them.
Zhensue Ryu entered the United States that year to prove that he can be the number one business man suit in the world. Only the world's first pursuit is the first, not the first, but the first of quality and reputation.
After completing the "certification" at the top of the world in the United States, and after two years of testing in the Chinese market through the electricity supplier, Zhensue Ryu finally decided to officially enter China.
This is the background of Kamakura's first store in China.
However, although this is the first time to interview the famous Japanese entrepreneur, my first question is not at all polite.
The current economic situation is clear to all that GDP is going down. Is it too big a challenge to enter the Chinese market? Or is it a bad opportunity?
Zhensue Ryu said: in fact, when we started our business 26 years ago, it was the time when the Japanese economy collapsed. At that time, my last company was the largest shirt brand in Japan. Unfortunately, it went bankrupt in the collapse of the economy.
In order to avoid the tragedy of the last company, Jung decided to start a new business with SPA (supply chain only stores, no inventory), reduce the price substantially, and at the same time, make the best quality at the same price.
During the recession, people are not obsessed with luxury goods. They also have a better understanding of quality (comfort and health are good qualities, and big brands and popularity are not necessarily good qualities). At the same time, the economy is in recession, and women also come out to work. They advocate caring for struggling women in the workplace. (Kamakura first started with women's clothing, then men's wear), and Zhensue Ryu's wife, who became a housewife for 22 years, became an entrepreneur.
So Kamakura went back to the top in the recession of Japan.
Now, although it is the downward cycle of China's economy, it actually coincides with Kamakura's positioning. When the economy goes up, everyone's wealth is rising rapidly, and they all pursue big cards and popularity. Instead, they lose their focus on real clothing pursuit. When they are out of money, you will be willing to pay a price, and they will return to the new consumption concept: low key, comfortable and healthy.
This is exactly the idea of Kamakura, and it is precisely this idea that allows them to resist the business cycle.
Because they have no inventory mode, how much they sell and how much they sell, they are sold out, so even if there is no economic downlink cycle, there will be no inventory. Instead, many garment enterprises are falling out because they are too concerned about scale and expand production when the economic situation is good.
Although Kamakura is very famous, but its scale is not large. In recent years, although I know that they care about the word-of-mouth of users, they do not care much about the scale. But they still want to ask Zhensue Ryu in person. The quality of Kamakura is excellent. If you let go, the whole country will increase dozens of stores at a time, and its scale will increase several times (the total number of Kamakura shops is more than 20 stores). It should be very easy. In the face of such a big market in China, it will take two years to land. Why not step up the pace? Don't you want to make your business bigger?
I have not directly said that I can earn more money on a large scale and make money with famous Japanese craftsmen.
However, Mr. Zhen went on the initiative to talk about money. He said that the scale of the enterprise grew and made more profits. Then what?
If customers are unhappy in wearing your clothes, if suppliers and partners are unhappy, what is the purpose of doing business?
The largest scale is bound to be industrialized. But can customers really be happy if they wear clothes made in industrialized quantities? Is it suitable for you?
Chinese people like European and American brands, but now the European and American brands are not pure European and American brands, such as putting factories into developing countries and developing industrial production.
Kamakura is different. Kamakura shirts are handmade by Japanese craftsmen, and buttons are all manually worn out. What kind of products made by heart and manufactured products can give customers a sense of happiness?
Speaking of this, I think of Zhen Zhen's idea of enterprise, which is emphasized again and again by employees. It is also the idea they insisted on at the beginning of their entrepreneurship: support every person who is fighting in the workplace or in the workplace.
You see, the idea of a clothing enterprise is not to say "create popularity", "let you have personality", "different men" and other clothing collocation appeals, but create a sense of happiness in the context of pursuit of life.
What is the relationship between this concept and products?
It has been hard work in the workplace. If the clothes are not suitable, it will be more tired. So comfort is the characteristics of their products. In order to achieve comfort, their neckties are all made of live core sewing. When necktie is worn, the neck will not feel tight. The shoulders should be provided with three dimensional sewing, so that the shirt can be close to the body and will not be bent when the body turns and bends. They have a lot of details and are very troublesome. They need a lot of technicians to do the same thing. Only the thousands of big pieces will be used in the same details, but five hundred or six hundred of their shirts are using this technology, which is to make the effort to create a sense of happiness for the customers wearing clothes.
These actions can not be produced industrialised, only manual, which is why they can not do large-scale.
Another small detail, Kamakura's two floor shop in the south of Shanghai Kerry Center, has 133 square meters in size. Compared with many Chinese brands, this area is not large, but compared to their shop area in Japan, it has been very large. Compared with the size of their Japanese stores, they didn't plan to find such a large area, because the shopping malls in Shanghai were very high rent. Last year they came to Shanghai to find shops. I wrote an article about the explosion, and the rent of Shanghai shopping mall was more expensive than that of Madison, New York.
Since rent is so expensive, why do we have to find such a large area?
Because they have added 1.5 open sewing workshops in the shop, which are built by Japanese technicians to modify the sleeves of customers. Why do we need to create a place to modify clothes in the Kerry Center of Shanghai? You know, the size of their clothes is the most complete. The other brands have one code, they will have two yards, twice as complex as the other brands.
But it is not enough. There are still some customers who need to revise. They can't find the factory that meets the requirements in Shanghai to meet their technical requirements. So they opened the sewing workshop specially and invited Japanese technicians to do so.
Of course, there are also some custom suits and shirts made in Japan.
It's really hard for customers to feel happy.
Not only the happiness of their employees and customers, but also the happiness of the suppliers' partners, which is also considered by Mr. Jung. A supplier in Kamakura has told a story in China that he worked with Mr. Zhen for more than ten years. Every time he told him at the end of Zhen Dynasty, I heard that the wages of your workers increased, and you raised the price for my cloth.
This makes the supplier partners very uncomfortable, always customers bargain with him, Zhen Mei initiative to raise prices for him, he said, no need to go up, we still have profits at this price, "no, no, no, no, no, no matter how much." Zhen Mei insisted.
Do you think partners can be unhappy in this way? Can you give Kamakura the best quality cloth?
However, even if they increase the cost to others, they will not raise the price of the goods. As the clothing brand, the cost of the brand in Japan is 60%, which is much lower than that of the European and American brands that have started to increase the price several times. In China, the tariff and the market rent are too high to be raised accordingly. But even so, the quality of the 200 shirts with a main product of 799 yuan corresponds to the European and American brands, at least 2000.
I interviewed hundreds of people, most of them talk about efficiency, and Chinese enterprises are very good in terms of efficiency. Only Mr. Zhensue Ryu talked about creating happiness in enterprises. I used to think that it might just be the slogan of an enterprise. Now, for the past 26 years, he has consistently adhered to this idea, and decided from the enterprise mechanism that he can only stick to this idea and not pursue scale and high profits.
Zhensue Ryu didn't say much, and faced with questioning and asking over and over again, there was no endless debate. He insisted on his point of view. He did not elaborate and did not paint. If he did not do homework for them, he could not understand many words, but the sentence was plain and simple.
Yes, is it still an explanation for an enterprise to create happiness for its customers?

Source: mischievous electricity supplier Author: Feng Huakui

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