KOKUYO's Chronicle ~ Over a Century of Creativity

8. The reform years (1998-2005)

Due to the structural recession which followed the bursting of Japan's so-called bubble and continued from the late 90s onwards, there was a widespread cooling off of market demand. In response to this, KOKUYO took various countermeasures, such as reforming and reorganizing its distribution system, and entering the fast-growing Chinese market. One of these countermeasures was the development of the network distribution business, the first attempt being the "Benri Net", an office supplies order system which operation started in 1997. The following year, KOKUYO launched its "C-business (@office)" catalogue mail order business aimed at distribution support, followed in 2001 by a general mail order business for office supplies "Kaunet" targeting small and home offices, the so-called Sohos. Entering the internet mail order business meant that distribution increased, so to deal with this complexity, a new distribution center was set up to maximize efficiency and distribution companies were restructured. Another unique approach initiated at that time was something called "universal design" (UD). Following the "Wavelet" clear book launched in 1999, many excellent UD items were created. Then, in 2005, KOKUYO celebrated its 100th anniversary.

1999
Universal Design products are released.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

2001
Office supply mail order via Kaunet is launched.
2002
KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD is established.
2003
"General shops" all over Japan are unified.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

Kokuyo Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. is set up, and full-scale operations begin in China.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

Kadokeshi Plastic Erasers are launched.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

2004
All KOKUYO operations are spun off and the company is restructured as a holding company.
2005
KOKUYO celebrates its 100th anniversary. The company logo is redesigned.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

"Easy Buy", an office supply catalog sales business, is launched in China.

KOKUYO's Historical Accounts

The dot liner is released.
  • The first logoKadokeshi Plastic Erasers
  • Western-style booknew distribution center
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