Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Pigeon Corp. To Step Up U.S. Sales, Pushing Baby Bottles In '14
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Pigeon Corp. (7956), the nation's top manufacturer of baby care products, will go on the offensive in the U.S. by selling its plastic nursing bottles there from next year.
The Tokyo-headquartered firm set foot in the American market with its 2004 acquisition of Lansinoh Laboratories Inc. It has since sold mainly breast-feeding-related products, such as pads, through the U.S. firm.
Facing an uphill battle in sales, Pigeon has apparently decided to change tack and now intends to offer its mainstay baby bottles, a proven best-seller with a 50% market share in both Japan and China.
The U.S., where births total around 4 million a year, is quadruple the size of the Japanese market. Pigeon plans to increase stores handling its products to around 2,300 in the U.S. by 2016, aiming to grab a 10% share there in the fiscal year through January 2017.
The company's sales in North America totaled 2.5 billion yen in the February-July half, up 43% on the year. Pigeon "will seek to increase (its) share in major markets to 50%," according to President Shigeru Yamashita.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 8 morning edition)