After Meiji Restoration , Western-style fashion was in trend following the development of civilization. In Kyoto, in 1888, Nishijin craftsman imported ribbon looms from Germany, completing the first factory organization in the Japanese textile industry.
Following the event, even in Fukui Prefecture, which was widely known as the place where silk fabrics are produced, ribbon production became active. The production of ribbon was majored especially in Fukui and Kyoto ultimately.
Yoshikazu Nozawa who worked as a silk seller and traveled between Kyoto and Fukui had his eyes on the ribbon that was a luxury item at the time. He then founded MARUSHIN as a ribbon wholesaler.
We founded MARUSHIN SHOTEN in 1950. We had expanded steadily by handling a widely various of products. Meanwhile, the export business was our main focus. We established "Rose brand" (for international trade) when there was no other domestic firms at that time investing on international trade. We embarked on selling not only ribbon but treads, laces and frills and that had led to expansion of the direct export routes. We are now established as a trusted brand in South Asia.
As Nozawa aimed to treasure the company's relationship with supplied and stakeholders, he established "Rose club". It is stated in their agreement that their aim was "to promote mutual friendship among members, to conduct research and communication, and to contribute to the development." At the general assembly twice a year, we not only exchanged informations but interacted through Golf and Mahjong tournaments. As overseas tour was also planned time to time (to Canada), participants were able to deepen their fellowship to more than just business partners.
In 1971, when US President Richard Nixon made the statement of the Nixon shock, which led to foreign exchange market falling into turmoil. As we (MARUSHIN) at the time was mostly dependent on export to the foreign market, we decided to shift our sales direction to the domestic market.
We stopped trading with exporting companies in Osaka and Kobe and focused our business on direct exports only. Moreover, we deployed our employees in different states, in order to expand our domestic trading channel. Aiming to cultivate new markets, MARUSHIN focused on strengthening connection with the apparel field.
MARUSHIN, which had been strengthening domestic sales have entered to the new markets such as apparel, which were not previously in our company fields. Along with that, our own products became essential, and we started planning and developing products in cooperation with manufacturers.
After ample and various of trials and errors, we focused on the production of original competitive goods. Furthermore, through introduction by Oda Sales Co.,Ltd , which we had just started trading at the time, we met knit designer Yoriko Watabe. Our original products unique to MARUSHIN which no other company had were enriching by a two-person tripod with maker and designer.
With harmonious collaboration of producer and designer, we were able to produce unique and competitive products.
In 1980, MARUSHIN celebrated its 30th anniversary. The 30th anniversary celebration was held at Kyoto Loyal Hotel. Based on the view that "A wholesaler only exists as suppliers exist", We invited mainly suppliers including Mr. Mikami from SANWA SENI Co.,Ltd.
In one of the lectures given in the event, even Mr. Haruki Hamada, who had been participating in the management of Kyoto traditional culture, appeared on stage. Gorgeous Gion Maiko also appeared at the venue and celebrated grandly in the milestone year.
In the same year, Yoshitada Nozawa became Representative Director and Yoshikazu Nozawa became Chairman of the Board.
Old MARUSHIN building was built in 1963 and it was a very eye-catching building as there were no tall buildings around it.
However, after 20 years, the building was ageing and we noticed that the parents of students who want to join the company said that they thought that "there was no prospect for the future of our company", in other words, affecting our recruitment. That lead to the decision to build the new building.
The features of the products handled by MARUSHIN have been incorporated into the design, and the showroom on the first floor has been developed as a space where customers can enjoy hand crafts.
Entering Tokyo, the main battlefield in the apparel industry, had been a long term dream for MARUSHIN. As all the major apparel industry companies were gathered in Tokyo, opening a branch in Tokyo was vital for sales channel development. Young employees who joined our company in Heisei showed great enthusiasm for expanding our base in new market, and decided to move their homes to Tokyo. In March 2000, we successfully opened the Tokyo office.
The sales activity of twice a month business trip had then been dramatically strengthened by having base in Tokyo and sales had increased significantly.
In around 2009, our domestic sales exceeded those in Kyoto, and demonstrated greater success.
In 2001, mainly young and middle career employees were set up for production of "Compiled photo catalog", listing all of our products in the country. It took significant period of time to consolidate sales tool that had previously been product -specific into one book.
Starting with organizing and classifying each product, the posted photos were scrutinized to be displayed as the same exact colors and textures as the real ones. After about two years, in 2003, a catalog of more than 400 pages with about 1700 products was completed.
By utilizing this comprehensive catalog, sales exceeded 2 billion yen for the first time in March 2003.
In the late 1990s, many apparel industries in the world shifted their operation from domestic to Chinese sewing due to the growth of spinning industry and price advantage in China. Therefore, Japanese apparel manufactures had started to expanded their bases to China one after another.
Major companies, secondary wholesaler of major customers also has entered in Chinese manufacturing, As MARUSHIN was required to establish the base of material procurement, we established MARUSHIN CLOTHING (Shanghai) Co., Ltd in 2002.
As mass production was major in China, they did not have fine technology like the ones in Japan at that time. Therefore by operating mass production of raw materials in China, then handling secondary manufacturing process in MARUSHIN, they could obtain lower cost with same high quality product being manufactured.
MARUSHIN had also grown in Chinese market by meeting the demand despite the challenges.
In 2007, in the aim of improving business planning, MARUSHIN had inaugurated corporate planning office. Until then, MARUSHIN was reliant about product planning on external departments. However, as a producer without own manufacturing operation, being competitive against other producers required planning and idea development training. A deep comprehension and knowledge of our specialty and strength of our suppliers was also vital.
"Sales promotion map", which was reviewed positively of being a great idea of spreading instruction on how to use our product, was also praised by our frequent clients of being " useful of imagining the possible uses of your product".
Now, we are even requested of producing sales promotion map for the clients'company. Also, in recent years, planning office manages e-commerce as well as creating layout of exhibition booth, becoming a very prominent department in MARUSHIN.
MARUSHIN had been basing business perspective on "B to B" theory, (a very direct selling) however, as we have apprehended 2000s internet and technology development, we expanded our market into e-commerce.As we inspected that a lot of our samples might be essential goods for the public customers who likes handicrafts, we established our online shop, "ROSE ROSA" in 2010, where our cut samples were sold at. As soon as the products were sold, we received praises by customers that "rare textiles and materials could be purchased for here". By 2018, its total revenue grew up to 50 million Yen.
Entering 2010, as the advantage of lower wage rate in China was seen in previous years, manufacturers began to shift their operation to ASEAN countries. Vietnam was not only having lower wage rate than China, but was specialized in labor intensive sewing industry. Therefore, many firms had gathered in Vietnam, having to shift their operation base for manufacturing export goods especially to developed countries.
MARUSHIN had been operating as a specialized wholesaler however, as we survival in foreign markets would be unattainable. Therefore, in 2015, Representative Office was built with the purpose of establishing a production base with a manufacturing function in Vietnam.
Then in October 2018, MARUSHIN(VIETNAM) & Co.,Ltd was founded, beginning the full scale production base in Vietnam.
Newly established brand "MUSUBI-YA", which is a part of "Kyoto premium"business, was the first step for MARUSHIN of producing goods for the public.
However, as the products were not possible to be mass produced by "MUSUBI-YA", and as we had learnt from this mistake, we founded our original brand, "line-R" in 2016. Our concept is "string that decorates oneself".
As we contemplated and realized that our products, such as strings, ribbons and laces could be utilized not only for clothes' designs but "wider variety of usages".
Thus, we have developed our products to hold various functions.