Japan Business Report October 2018

Presented by

Discovery Reports

Marugo steps into its 100th year in shoe business

The Japanese footwear company is adept at ‘protecting the feet of working people’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 1:33pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

In a world where businesses find it challenging to stay competent for even one year, Marugo has proven its capacity to stand the test of time, a century, to be exact. Since its inception in 1919, the Japanese footwear company has found its key competency in “protecting the feet of working people” – the philosophy by which its colourful history and all of its products are rooted in.

Safety and comfort for the daily life are our top priority, but we also look into wellness shoes as we answer the current market trends and needs.
Shigehiko Fujiki, president

Known for offering high-quality jikatabi shoes, unique footwear that is made of cotton tabi and rubber sole, and inspired by the traditional Japanese split-toe socks, Marugo also serves the local market with safety shoes, rubber boots, sanitary boots, occupational shoes, kid’s comfort shoes, and to a small percentage, work gloves.

“Safety and comfort for daily life are our top priority, but we also look into wellness shoes as we answer the current market trends and needs. We are working with medical researchers in bio-mechanics and sport trainers to grow this range,” says Marugo president Shigehiko Fujiki.

Aside from widening its product ranges, the 100-year old shoe business is beginning to open its doors for international growth. While it is actively engaging in China through its sales subsidiary in Shanghai established in 2010, Marugo also collaborates with its production partners in the Philippines and Vietnam. It further promotes its products in exhibitions in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and eyes potential partners particularly in Southeast Asia.

“What we look for in co-working with other markets is a great level of understanding, especially with our company philosophy and culture, and a synergy between our experiences and technologies,” Fujiki says.

The high hopes of catering to the wellness segment and personal protective equipment (PPE) – a market where China alone is expected to need 30 million pairs in PPE by 2024 – might give Marugo the promise of stepping into another 100 years in its history.