John W. Herbert, general secretary of EDRA/GHIN, has hosted his 17th guest in the “Meet the CEO” series. His latest interview partner on Wednesday 2 March was Naotaro Hikida, chairman and president of Kohnan Shoji and also vice chairman of the Japan DIY-HC Association.
The discussion was overshadowed by current events in Ukraine. As Herbert said at the beginning of the transmission, the citizens of Ukraine were in everyone’s thoughts. It was tragic to see cities in the country being destroyed and people being killed by the might of the Russian army. Herbert added that the hope was for a speedy end to this conflict and that peace would prevail once more.
In his conversation with Herbert, CEO Hikida announced that his company had increased its sales by the end of 2021 by 1.5 per cent to 472.1 bn yen (approx. EUR 3.68 bn). The intention now was to raise this to 500 bn yen (approx. EUR 3.9 bn) by 2025. With reference to the Covid situation, Hikida said that Japan currently had a declining rate of infection, although there were still concerns regarding the Omicron variant. 80 per cent of adults in Japan were now vaccinated.
Kohnan Shoji is one of the biggest DIY companies in Japan. As of the end of 2021, it operated 481 stores under different distribution channels in Japan und Vietnam. The company was established in Sakai City in 1978, commencing the direct import of goods from abroad in 2000. It has been listed on the Tokyo stock exchange since 2001. Its first expansion abroad was in 2016 to Vietnam, where it now operates eight stores. This move made the DIY chain the first Japanese company to expand to Southeast Asia.