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Japan Retailers Prepare for Surge in Demand from TSMC's Kumamoto Plant

Japanese retailers are gearing up for an anticipated increase in demand in northeastern Kumamoto prefecture as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, nears completion of its new factory.

TSMC plans to start operating the new semiconductor factory
Credit: Kosuke Kondo

Izumi, a shopping center and supermarket operator, has already taken proactive measures by creating a dedicated Taiwanese food section and a sales area for high-end gifts at its store in Kikuyo. Nitori Holdings, known for its chain of furniture and interior goods stores, has also opened an outlet in a neighboring town.

The population in the area is expected to grow rapidly with the opening of the TSMC factory in 2024. Noritoshi Haraya, general manager of Youme Town Hikarinomori, an Izumi-operated shopping center, emphasised the importance of preparing to serve factory employees and their families ahead of time. Izumi has refurbished its shopping center, adding a Taiwanese food section with imported instant food and confectioneries. They have also expanded the gift section and specialty stores, anticipating a surge in demand for high-end gifts.

Izumi's Youme Town Hikarinomori shopping center
Credit: Ryo Asayama

The efforts have already paid off, with sales in the gift section increasing by 80%. Youme Town Hikarinomori, which opened in 2004, is seen as a key player in the area's redevelopment. Izumi plans to further refurbish the children's clothing and sundries departments on the second floor next year, in anticipation of the rapid population growth expected over the next decade.

Other retailers are also capitalising on the potential benefits of the TSMC plant. Nitori Holdings opened a store in Ozu, Kumamoto prefecture, in November, and sales have been meeting expectations. Mega Don Quijote Kikuyou, a discount store opened in 2014, is also thriving and has become the sales leader among Don Quijote stores in Kumamoto prefecture.

With the growing interest and influx of customers, retailers are considering expanding their offerings to include Taiwanese goods. Shinichi Hoshino, assistant manager of Mega Don Quijote Kikuyou, expressed the store's willingness to consider selling Taiwanese products in the future.

  • Japanese retailers are preparing for a surge in demand from TSMC's Kumamoto plant by creating dedicated sections for Taiwanese food and high-end gifts.

  • The population growth expected with the opening of the factory presents a significant opportunity for retailers to cater to the needs of factory employees and their families.

  • The economic impact of the TSMC plant is estimated to be substantial, and retailers are already experiencing positive sales growth.


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