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Department Stores and Travel Industry Zeroing In on Mom-Daughter Pairs (February 10, 2004)

mother and daughter 1
A mother and daughter shopping for clothes
Nowadays it is quite common to see mothers and daughters shopping or traveling together like friends. The trend toward having fewer children has led to closer relationships between mothers and daughters, according to one social psychologist, and there is now even a popular TV variety show that goes around hunting for mothers and teenage daughters who look like sisters. Department stores and travel agencies have reacted quickly and are coming out with various products targeting the M&D (mother-and-daughter) market.

Husband-Free Holidays
In October 2003 travel agencies JTB Corp., Kinki Nippon Tourist, Nippon Travel Agency, and Meitetsu World Travel jointly began offering a set of domestic travel packages titled "Mom and Daughter's Talkative Trip" for excursions to Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Until recently, travel packages mainly focused on married couples and groups of women, but now the travel industry has set its sights on mothers and daughters. These travel plans include accommodation at hotels that are popular with women and special perks geared for women, such as beauty salon treatments. It is becoming increasingly common for mothers to cover the travel expenses while daughters play the part of tour conductor.

So why travel without fathers and sons? First of all, many mothers in Japan say they can chat more freely with their daughters, making it more fun to go on holidays with their daughters than with their husbands. From the daughters' standpoint, there may be the practical motive of saving money by traveling with their mothers. Of course there are other reasons as well, as suggested by one Tokyo resident, who said, "I wanted to give my mom a break from looking after my dad."

mother and daughter 2
Looking at accessories

Dressed Like Twins
Department stores are jumping on the bandwagon by holding in-store fashion shows that play up the image of the ideal mother-daughter pair - a smart-dressing 50-something mother and a 20-something daughter who has an excellent fashion sense. They are also intent on selling products that cater to this population.

For some time in the apparel industry the so-called junior market was the major phenomenon, but now focus has shifted to the mother and grown-up daughter combination. This trend is visible in jewelry as well. Jewelry brand Folli Follie's Ginza Namiki-dori shop, which opened in July 2003, has developed products that mothers and daughters can use together based on the concept of "cross-generation, from mother to daughter."

According to an Internet-based survey of women in their thirties, forties, and fifties who have children middle-school age or older, the things that mothers and daughters most commonly share are clothes, followed by bags. In the majority of cases, it is the daughter who wears or uses the mother's clothes and bags. Mothers tend to be more willing to buy a fashion item if they think their daughters will be using it as well, because then they do not have reason to feel guilty about spending money just for themselves. Daughters, meanwhile, give their mothers solid shopping advice while keeping in mind the possibility of borrowing the item. The combination of the two sides' motives results in the purchase of reasonably expensive products.

Today it is said that parents and their children are becoming more intimate due to the smaller number of children per household - the growing number of children who call their parents by their first names may be a telling sign. There is a promising market for products and services geared toward mother-daughter pairs who enjoy each other's company like friends or sisters.

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Related Web Sites
JTB Corp.
Kinki Nippon Tourist
Nippon Travel Agency
Meitetsu World Travel (Japanese only)

Copyright (c) 2004 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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