Shiroi Koibito focuses on Chinese mail order in change of strategy amid tourist slump

Chinese mail order gives Shiroi Koibito a lifeline

 Confectioner, Ishiya Co., Ltd. (Sapporo) is focusing on selling its flagship product ‘Shiroi Koibito’ on internet mail-order sites aimed at Chinese customers, amid a decrease in overseas tourists due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Until now, overseas sales have been in the region of approximately 1,000 cases (324 per case), but in the next year the company plans to increase the number to 60,000 cases, mainly in China, as the mainstay of its profits.
 In 2019, Ishiya began selling Shiroi Koibito via the ‘Tmall global’ mail order site of Alibaba, China’s main internet sales company. This time, new trading has begun on two cross-border e-commerce sites aimed at the domestic market in China, in the hope that awareness of the product will subsequently lead to extensive sales.
The number of overseas customers, which account for many of the products’ sales, has drastically decreased since February, leading to a temporary halt in the Shiroi Koibito production line and other adjustments in stock. Current sales are approx. 50% down on the same period last year and efforts are being made to secure new sales channels.
 Shiroi Koibito has created a brand value as a representative souvenir of Hokkaido and, until now, Ishiya has been cautious of mail-order sales both at home and abroad. However, as uncertainty remains regarding the recovery of tourism, sales strategies are changing. According to a representative from Ishiya, “If tourists can’t come to Hokkaido, it’s up to us to be more proactive in our sales.”


Shiroi Koibito Park