第3回目のインタビューは「株式会社ニシカワ」さん。福岡で雑貨の卸販売を中心に、ショップコーディネートの提案や、イベント企画、オリジナル商品の開発などを行われています。ニット・ウィンからは、「natural sunny」の靴下をお取り扱い頂いています。

今回は「natural sunny」を担当して頂いている営業部の伊藤さんと、企画・ヘルスケア事業部の和田さんにお話を伺いました。

knitwin’s third interview is with Nishikawa Ltd., a company located in Fukuoka prefecture. With the successful wholesale of general sundries as a base-point, they have expanded to providing services such as layout advice to shops and event planning. They also develop some of their own products. What is knitwin’s relationship to Nishikawa Ltd.? Their socks from the natural sunny brand have found a niche in the list of items Nishikawa supplies to shops.
 
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Ito who handles sales for natural sunny and Ms. Wada from the health care products division.

右 :営業部 営業二課 伊藤 真人さん
左 :企画・ヘルスケア事業部 和田 莉沙子さん
Right: Sales Department, Second Sales Division, Ito Naoto
Left : Planning . Health Care Products Division, Wada Risako
- ニシカワさんでは香りの商品が多く見られますが、なぜニット・ウィンの靴下を扱おうと?

– Nishikawa seems to be a wholesaler predominantly for scented products; what made you decide to do business with knitwin, a sock company?

ニシカワは雑貨をメインとする卸問屋で、香りの商品は約6割くらい、あとの4割は入浴剤から食品、洋服まで様々取り扱いがあるなかのひとつに靴下がありました。雑貨がメイン商材ということもあり、靴下も雑貨店に置くものとして取り扱ってきた部分があったんです。だけど最近はライフスタイルショップも増えてきたし、雑貨店向けだけではなくアパレルとしても靴下を動かしたいなと考えていたところ、目にとまったのが「NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA」だったんです。

このクオリティで、この値段で、このパッケージ、いいな!と思い、すぐにコンタクトを取りました。結果的に「NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA」は直接小売店さんとお取り引きされているとのことでダメだったんですが、理由も納得できたので仕方ないなと。諦めようと思いながらも、展示会への出展で福岡に来られると聞き、日程もすぐだったのでせっかくだから行こうって。そこで西口さんと初めてお会いして、ニット・ウィンさんのもうひとつのブランド「natural sunny」を紹介していただきました。正直な感想は値段が安い!(笑)こんなに安いのに、クオリティも良くて、いい靴下だなと感じました。

ニシカワでも展示会を自社で年4回、あと合同展示会もやっているんです。ちょうど展示会が控えている時期だったので、「natural sunny」の商品をお借りして、展示会に出してみたら反応がとても良かった。展示会が終わったあとも、これからの季節だったらレギンスかなと思って、アパレルショップに商品を持っていってみるとこっちも反応が良くて、注文めっちゃ入りましたよね。社内でオリジナルのレギンスを作ろうかって話もあったんですけど、バカらしくなりました(笑)

At Nishikawa, our main focus is distributing general sundries and 60% of our items are scented products. The remaining 40% comprise of items such as bath products, food and clothing, including socks. These days more and more shops market stylish lifestyles through the display of their products. Following the same trend, we looked to expand our apparel department and we wanted to put emphasis on choosing a good sock company. That is when NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA (NK) caught our interest.
 
These were good quality socks at a reasonable cost, and that was really appealing to us. We got in touch with knitwin, the sock company of NK, right away. Unfortunately, NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA (NK) was a brand that only sold their socks to retail shops directly. As we were a wholesaler, it wasn’t possible to order their socks. It was very disappointing, but we understood their business process and had to accept the fact. As we were ready to embark on a new search, we got word that they were coming to our city, Fukuoka, to take part in an exhibition that was taking place in a few days. Even though we knew that there was no way to do business with NK, we still took the opportunity and visited their booth. That is when we met Mr. Nishiguchi who introduced us to natural sunny, another brand under knitwin. My honest opinion, the prices were unbelievably cheap (laughter)! We really liked that their socks were of good quality and the price cheap; we really had a good feeling about this sock brand.
 
At Nishikawa, we take part in exhibitions with other companies as well as hold our own 4 times a year. We were introduced to the natural sunny sock brand just at the time when we were preparing for one of our quarterly exhibitions so we quickly decided to add their socks to our display. What a good idea that was. We received lots of interest from clients. Soon after, we took natural sunny leggings to one of our apparel shops, as it was fitting for the coming season. Again, a great idea; they were so popular and we received so many orders. There was talk about creating our own leggings but with how well the natural sunny brand was doing, there really was no point.

- 伊藤さんは元々アパレルのご出身ですよね。

– Mr. Ito, from what I understand, you originally come from a background in apparel.

ニシカワに入社する前は、ずっとアパレルを経験してきました。その頃から、靴下は服飾の中でいちばん消費するものだと感じていたんです。下着のなかでも、足裏っていちばん汗をかく場所だし、靴と素足に密着して挟まれるので、消耗品になるんですよね。ということはリピートで動くってことだから。でもアパレルショップやライフスタイルショップのお店側からすると、靴下って後回しになるアイテムなんです。洋服に比べるとどうしても単価が安いので。だけど1度購入してもらえれば、リピートにつながる。他の色も欲しいなとか、また来年も買いたいなとか、寒くなったから素材違うのが欲しいな、形違うのが欲しいなとか。

自分が履いてよかったから、ギフトでって買い方もありますよね。“使ってみて良かったやろ?”とか“食べてみて美味しかったやろ?”とかやっぱり人に言いたくなるし勧めたくなる。社内でも「natural sunny」を履いてる人結構いるんです。社内で広がっていき、次第に外へと広がっていく。ショップのスタッフさんが履いて、お客さんに広がっていく。どうしても時間はかかってしまうけど身につけるものだから、良さを実感できれば自分用に2足目、3足目ってなるし、周りに人に“これ良かったよ”って言える。いくら履き心地が良くても、値段が高いと気兼ねなく人に勧められない部分があるけど、このクオリティでこの値段だからね。“騙されたと思って買ってみ。めっちゃいいけん!”って言いたくなる商品だなって思います。

I had extensive experience in the apparel field before joining Nishikawa. From back then, I felt that socks were an accessory that has the shortest life span. Even compared to other undergarments, they tend to wear quickly because the bottom of the feet have a tendency to sweat often and there is repeated friction between the feet and shoes. Many apparel or lifestyle shops don’t put that much effort into carrying socks in their shops because the profit is low compared to clothing. But once a customer purchases a pair and is satisfied with them, they come back for another pair. They may want another color, a warmer pair for cooler seasons, and a different design, or may think of coming back when it’s time to replace their old ones.
 
Some customers purchase socks as gifts because they have worn the same brand and want to recommend it. Word of mouth is the best marketing. “Wasn’t it comfortable?” “Didn’t it taste delicious?” People naturally want to share their pleasant experiences. Many of our staff at Nishikawa wear natural sunny socks. Their popularity has spread within our company and made its way out to our customers. It may take time, but socks are something you wear every day so if you are satisfied with a pair, you buy 2 and then 3 pairs and then there may be an opportunity to recommend them to people around you. No matter how comfortable they may be, if they are expensive, it’s harder to tell others about them, but with natural sunny’s quality and price, you can’t go wrong! You can recommend their brand with complete confidence.

- 伊藤さんは靴下に対する熱さもあり、わたしたちの考え方も理解してくださっていて、安心してお任せすることが出来ます。普通はすぐにでも売上を上げたいってなると思うんですが、ゆっくりと広げていこうという思いでいてくださる。

– Mr. Ito, you share the same passion we have for socks and it is a real pleasure doing business with you. Unlike other clients, your focus is not on sales, but more on taking the time to find and share good quality items.

ブランドって少しずつ伸びていけばいいと思うんですよね。じっくり、じんわり、育てていけばいい。もちろん数字は大事なんですけど、売上売上ってなると…。最初に予算を掲げてそこに向かってじゃあどうする?ばら撒くしかない!ってなってしまったら、どこにでもある商品になっちゃう。数だけ売りたいなら値段を下げればいいのかもしれないけど、ブランドってそういうものじゃないと思うから。我慢が大切だし、必要なことだと思うんです。

In my opinion, you shouldn’t rush to market or sell a brand. If the product is good, slowly but surely, sales will increase. Of course we do have to make some profit along the way, but putting too much emphasis on numbers is not our style. When the focus is just on numbers, and you set off to reach that target number, what happens? You end up distributing the products everywhere! When that happens, they end up being an item that you can find in any store. If you want to sell as many as possible, you can lower the price, but with brands that we recommend and sell with confidence, we want to make sure that we market them to reflect their quality. Patience is a key element for us in this line of business.
- 取り扱いが始まってもうすぐ1年になりますが、今後やってみたいことなどありますか?

– It will almost be a year since you started ordering our products. Any new ideas for the future?

ニット・ウィンさんで新たに生まれたブランド「hakne」ももし出来るならやってみたいですね。「natural sunny」だとちょっと値段が合わない…というアパレルショップに提案出来ると思うんです。クオリティは良いし可愛いのに安いから、他のメーカーさんの靴下が売れなくなるって言われることがあって。価格帯だけでみると雑貨屋さん向けだけど、見た目は雑貨屋さん向けじゃないのが難しい部分なんですが、そこに「hakne」が提案出来るといいですよね。「natural sunny」が合うお店もあれば、「hakne」が合うお店もある。いろんな動かし方や提案を常に考えながら、少しずつ、ゆっくりと、ストーリーが生まれていけばいいなと思っています。

We are interested in distributing knitwin’s new brand hakne. Some of the apparel shops we supply to are looking for socks that are of similar cost to other brands that they carry. natural sunny socks are of good quality, have cute design and are cheaper than the average sock brand so they end up monopolizing the sock section. Although they’d look great on the shelves of apparel shops, price-wise, they are more tailored to be sold in shops that carry general sundries. On the other hand, hakne would be perfectly fitting, in all aspects to be sold in apparel shops.
We like to think thoroughly about where each item fits, and watch how their stories unfold, slowly.

 
株式会社ニシカワ
〒812-0016 福岡市博多区博多駅南3丁目15-29 駅南ミサワビル2F
[URL]  https://www.nishikawa-net.com/
[電話] 092-431-5599

Nishikawa Ltd.
812-0016 Fukuoka shi Hakata-ku Hakata Eki Minami 3-15-29
Eki Minami Misawa Building
Website: https://www.nishikawa-net.com/
Phone: 092-431-5599