Sep 26 / Sozoroo TEAM

Animate's Strategic Move Behind the Opening of a New Store in Los Angeles, USA

Opening a New Store in Los Angeles
Great news for anime and manga enthusiasts! The major retail chain for anime-related merchandise, Animate, is set to open a brand new store in Los Angeles, USA, in the summer of 2023. This announcement was made by Animate USA, although the exact opening date is still being finalized. Behind this exciting development lies a captivating strategy.
A Prime Location in Los Angeles County
This upcoming Animate store will be situated in Torrance, in the southwestern part of Los Angeles County. Torrance is known for its safety and is home to a significant number of Japanese companies and residents. The store will be located within the "Del Amo Fashion Center," a massive shopping mall spanning 230,000 square meters, making it one of the largest shopping centers in the United States. The mall boasts major department stores such as Macy's and Nordstrom, along with a plethora of renowned shops, ensuring a high influx of visitors. Animate anticipates a synergistic effect in this bustling area.

Animate's Strength and Aggressive International Expansion
Founded in 1987, Animate has become a dominant force in the sale of anime, manga, games, and character-related merchandise. With over 120 stores nationwide and an annual sales revenue exceeding 65 billion yen, Animate is an indispensable presence for anime fans and within the anime industry.
In recent years, there has been a surge in the international popularity of Japanese content, prompting Animate to embark on an aggressive expansion into the global market. They have already established a strong presence in Taiwan, with three stores in major cities like Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. In mainland China, Animate operates in Shanghai and Guangzhou, with a presence in Beijing as well. They have also expanded into South Korea, with stores in Seoul and Busan, as well as in Bangkok, Thailand. Their performance in these regions has been notably strong, reflecting the growing demand for Japanese anime culture worldwide.

Re-entering the US Market
However, Animate faced challenges when attempting to enter the US market in the past. While they previously opened a store in Los Angeles in 2001, it closed shortly after opening. Differences in culture and accessibility between the US and Japan played a role in these setbacks. The car-centric nature of the US made store access challenging, unlike in Japan, where public transportation is prevalent. Additionally, the family-oriented nature of US shopping centers was not an ideal match for niche anime goods stores.
Nevertheless, the recent surge in anime's popularity has expanded the demand for character goods to a broader audience. Consequently, Animate USA is taking a bold step by re-establishing a physical store presence. This move will put the appeal of Japanese anime goods stores to the test in the US market.

The opening of Animate's new store in Los Angeles is eagerly anticipated by anime fans. This expansion not only caters to the growing international demand for Japanese content but also contributes to the proliferation of anime culture. Animate's aggressive international expansion aims to fuel the growth of the anime industry and achieve success in the US market.