Please allow me to offer my sincere thanks for the continuous understanding and support you have given to Sushiro Group.
In March this year, Sushiro Group relisted on the First Section of Tokyo Stock Exchange after an eight-year gap. Over these eight years, we have successfully strengthened our system. In particular, I believe we have built a more robust operating system for our new and existing stores, and we have strengthened our business operation platform, including the development of products to meet the needs of our customers. Despite a tough competitive environment, we have succeeded in increasing both sales and profits. We have only been able to do this thanks to warm support of many people, including our shareholders, and this is something I am truly grateful for.
Sushiro Group’s origins lie in the Taisushi restaurant that opened in Abeno Ward, Osaka City. We were established in our current form as conveyor belt sushi restaurant "Sushiro" in 1984, out of a desire to make it easy for as many people as possible to enjoy tasty sushi. This aspiration has been passed down since the time of our foundation to the entire Sushiro Group through our slogan "Tasty Sushi for All, Tasty Sushi for the Heart". This mission has remained unchanged for Sushiro, and we believe it will remain unchanged in the future.
Sushiro Group hopes to create an increasing number of environments and locations that allow people to enjoy delicious sushi as conveniently as possible. We also want to spread these activities overseas, to make sure that the "Sushiro" sign can be seen in all major cities, and to help as many people as possible feel happiness through food. Our aim is to remain needed by society into the future. Sushiro Group employees will work together towards this goal, and I am truly grateful for the ongoing understanding and support of our shareholders.
- December 2017
Sushiro Global Holdings Ltd.
President & CEO
- Koichi Mizutome
We asked President & CEO Koichi Mizutome about Sushiro Group’s position in the industry, as well as his views Sushiro Group’s performance, the current overall management conditions, and the vision for the future.
Looking back on the overall management environment in Japan and overseas, and recognizing current conditions
The conveyor belt sushi restaurant industry has yet to spread to every corner of Japan. Sushiro Group currently has more than 470 stores, but I believe there is much more potential to open new stores.
Overseas, the market is tens of times bigger than Japan. There is not yet much competition between rival companies, and I believe there is potential for significant growth in the industry as a whole. Sushiro Group is currently in the fortunate position of being the leading company in the Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant industry. We are also proud to boast an increasingly robust profit margin and a solid corporate philosophy. Sushiro’s competitiveness lies in “being no. 1 in the industry in procurement capabilities”, “pursuing delicious sushi by insisting on in-store preparation”, and “contributing to efficient operation through the use of IT systems”. These strengths have grown out of the process of pursuing our belief in giving the customer the tastiest possible food. For example, we secure supplies of the freshest ingredients, and make sure we prepare sushi moments before the customer eats it. We have spent a long time honing these capabilities.
Moreover, Sushiro’s business model is not simply to increase sales at each store. Instead, we plan to build growth in sales by increasing the number of stores. At the level of the individual store, we maintain the absolute values for profits and profit margins through the day-to-day management of sales and costs. Our growth model is to increase sales structurally along with the expansion in overall scale.
As part of our growth strategy, Sushiro Group recently entered into a capital and business alliance with Shinmei Co., Ltd. and Genki Sushi Co., Ltd. In addition to running its core business, which is the rice wholesale business, Shinmei Co., Ltd. is actively seeking to expand by constructing “food value chains from upstream through to downstream”. Genki Sushi Co., Ltd. is a consolidated subsidiary of Shinmei Co., Ltd., and it is steadily establishing a position in the conveyor belt sushi business through brands such as GENKI SUSHI and Uobei. Genki Sushi has expanded overseas, largely through a franchise format, and it has the largest number of stores and the strongest brands of all Japanese conveyor belt sushi companies in the overseas market. Sushiro believes that the recent partnership will allow us to achieve a global expansion through a "three-way partnership".
In Sushiro Group business, as part of our efforts to "continue the steady opening of new stores", which is one of the priority challenges contained in our current medium-term management plan, in the current fiscal year we opened the Gotanda store as our second city center-type store, following on from the Tokyo Minami-Ikebukuro Store. Both stores have been very well-received, and they are outperforming our existing stores. Moving forward, we plan to accelerate the opening of new stores using the same format. Our future target is to open around 800 stores throughout Japan, including around 34 to 35 new stores every year using the existing store format.
Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility
As a "company with audit and supervisory committee", Sushiro Group has a system in place that allows us to actively incorporate the opinions of external directors.
Every month, Sushiro Group holds a meeting of our internal controls committee, which is led by our internal audit team. Our external directors take part in these meetings, and in addition to holding internal audits, we have a thorough system in place to handle risk management and compliance. Our internal audit team inspects each store every year by carrying out physical inspections, and on-site checks are carried out to ensure that the stores fully comply with the rules set by the company.
In terms of our corporate social responsibilities, rather than setting out to tackle and promote activities in individual CSR challenges, Sushiro Group believes that the most important thing is that we are useful to society through our corporate activities themselves. We believe that our role is to contribute to people and society by supplying our customers with delicious sushi through our main line of work, and to offer people enjoyable times and places.
The future vision Sushiro Group wants to achieve is to create more environments and locations for people around the world to enjoy sushi conveniently. Many overseas customers still regard sushi as a luxurious and special type of food. For this reason, Sushiro Group wants to create a world in which people can conveniently enjoy truly delicious Japan-quality sushi as part of their everyday meals as a family. For now, we will focus on expanding our business in South Korea and Asia, which shares a similar culinary culture to Japan of enjoying raw seafood. In the near future, we plan to open a store in Taipei, Taiwan. I hope you share my sense of excitement at the bright future that awaits Sushiro Group.