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Interview: “We’re exploring innovative ways to do business with our partners”

Yannick, Country Manager Japan for ÏDKIDS and Jacadi, offers a status update on our brands in northern Asia.

What does the situation in Japan look like?
Due to it close proximity to China, the country was quickly impacted by Covid-19. Until mid-March, the country was doing well. Ingrained habits such wearing masks for personal use were quickly adopted in stores. But from the week of 13 April, the situation worsened. The government declared a state of emergency, although it was less strict than in France, with only voluntary restrictions. All shopping centres and department stores have been closed since then, which includes our Okaïdi and Jacadi corners and stores.

How are our teams?
The Okaïdi teams are doing well, and so far none of them or their families have not been infected to our knowledge. They are looking forward to coming back. We’re taking things one day at a time. Overall, people are feeling upbeat.

How are our partners doing?
To offset the effects of having to close down our brick-and-mortar stores, we’re striving to develop our web operations: our Jacadi partner is now quickly working to open soon in Japan.

Are other countries planning to open new Jacadi websites?
Yes—in Singapore, where they also had to close. Our partners has been developing a website project since January. They were able to launch the site faster than anticipated.

The https://jacadi.sg/ is now open for business!

What about the other countries?

Taiwan is our oldest partner: six Jacadi stores are still open there. This is probably the country that has done the best in the region. Sales have slowed, but are relatively good considering the context.

South Korea and Hong Kong are in a similar situation: our aim today is to find new partners. For Hong Kong, this looks to be settled. For South Korea, we have some serious leads. But they aren’t in a hurry to open, and we understand that. Even if there are sales to be made, the negative trends in terms of turnover are not all that motivating.

Any final words?

We’re all anxious for the situation to improve! As is the case everywhere, our the teams are getting ready to start up again ASAP. We know our customers won’t be packing into the stores any time soon, but for those who do come back, we’ll be ready to give them the best service possible. And we’ve got a few new ideas on how to engage with shoppers!

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