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Mail order and online shopping: the case of Uji Tea

Published on February 27, 2019 Originally recorded 2018   4 min
0:04
An example of the development of mail-order industry can be taken from the Uji Tea Industry in Japan. So mail-order retailing in pre-war Japan was a very small way in which farms sold goods. However, the Uji Tea Industry in Japan at the time saw an opportunity because exports of Uji Tea, a special quality tea, had reached a limit, the ceiling, and volumes began to decrease. So in this case, Uji Tea farmers had to find a new market in Japan in the domestic market. This was more important after exports fell further to around 30 percent after 1919.
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So after the 1890s, Uji Tea Industry was largely shut out of the export market for various number of reasons and Uji Tea farmers had to find different market, the domestic market for selling Uji Tea. However, originally Uji Tea was sold in Japan through wholesalers who diluted Uji Tea with tea of lower quality. So, therefore, the brand value of Uji Tea was reaching a crisis point. But at the same time, postal services and infrastructure of Japanese railways was improving. So, therefore, there was an opportunity for the Uji Tea industry to be able to sell Uji Tea directly to consumers through the mail-order system. So the development of the mail-order retailing had a direct influence on the wholesale selling of Uji Tea and the distribution system. Whereas the wholesale selling all Uji Tea was destroying the brand value, the distribution system was improving, so Uji Tea farmers were directly able to sell Uji Tea using mail-order retailing and the developing distribution system to Japanese households directly. So we could say in this context that the mail-order retailing channel in the Uji Tea Industry contributed to the reconstruction of Uji Tea brand's value because now it was directly controlled by the Uji Tea farmers and the Uji Tea Industry without the wholesalers. So, therefore, this eliminated the dilution of Uji Tea with lower quality tea brands.
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Mail order and online shopping: the case of Uji Tea

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