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Danny, I appreciate the points that you make. Just so it's clear when I said "whacking prices up 35% to 40% was the solution" I wasn't referring to Rivet and Hide "whacking up prices" I was referring to OD being forced by PBJ to increase their prices by 35% to 40%. But I can see the way it was written wasn't clear and it could of easily be interpreted differently to what I was trying to express.

Please also note all of the PBJ items that I've purchased from OD are not carried by your store; which is another issue I wanted to bring up.

I don't see any contradiction in my post though.

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Personally I think the online model is particularly adapted to denim etc. That allows the retailer to make a profit on a (small) margin and charge fairly low prices, especially if they are sophisticated enough to not display or charge taxes for out-of-state/country orders and to accept Visa in multiple currencies. Imagine such a store in Japan (something like Hepcat.se) with access to the Jpz distribution... Of course dealing with the Jpz makers is probably not a walk in the park...

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5 hours ago, cool_hand said:

Danny, I appreciate the points that you make. Just so it's clear when I said "whacking prices up 35% to 40% was the solution" I wasn't referring to Rivet and Hide "whacking up prices" I was referring to OD being forced by PBJ to increase their prices by 35% to 40%. But I can see the way it was written wasn't clear and it could of easily be interpreted differently to what I was trying to express.

Please also note all of the PBJ items that I've purchased from OD are not carried by your store; which is another issue I wanted to bring up.

I don't see any contradiction in my post though.

 
 

Ok. Got you on the whacking up bit. But you do admit that in VAT/duties alone there is an added 30% cost but say you'd be happy to buy from a UK store if the price difference were 10-15%.

Edited by Danny @ Rivet & Hide

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11 hours ago, Danny @ Rivet & Hide said:

I recently heard a pro-Brexit government minister tell retailers they need to absorb these higher costs and not pass them on to their customers. I have written to him and offered him a day's work experience at the store in Windmill Street so he can look at the books and see how fucking hard it is to run an independent store in London selling seriously good shit in the current climate. 

A key problem with European politicians is that most of them have little or no work experience in the private, for profit sector.

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Price fixing (as well as cartelling and price collusion)  to Japanese is as moaning to English - the only way of doing things. 

PBJ fits and styles work for the current me and I really really like how they experiment with different dyes without being in your face. As with other lines of business in Japan,PBJ owners would release at some point that the only growth attainable, with shrinking local economy and declining population, is to expand internationally. Probably they are not on that level yet and/or do not plan to expand enough.  

VISVIM prices though........there were the times ten or fifteen years ago (or 20 even - my memory fails me) when FBTs were priced mid 20k JPY now are mid 60k in Japan and with intl premium which still baffles me.

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16 hours ago, Danny @ Rivet & Hide said:

Ok. Got you on the whacking up bit. But you do admit that in VAT/duties alone there is an added 30% cost but say you'd be happy to buy from a UK store if the price difference were 10-15%.

 
 

I was referring to the added cost of approximately 30% on top of the Japanese retail price as a private consumer importing from Japan. "Admit" sounds like I'm in a court of law. I still don't see a contradiction in my post.

Let's break down the numbers: Import duty: 12%. VAT 20%. Royal Mail Handling fee: £8. Postage: OD offer free postage but cost is actually hidden in slightly higher retail price. However, OD take-off the 8% Japanese tax for export. So I admit the cost isn't quite 30%.

What really grates me is if I now wish to buy something from PBJ that isn't stocked by your store or Cultizm or whoever I will now have to pay a heavily inflated price over the local Japanese consumer retail price + I'll still have the VAT/duties on top. It'll make the purchase completely prohibitive.  

 

Edited by cool_hand

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I've made 2 purchases from OD and neither were 'caught' by customs as the value had been marked low enough. Without customs charges they are now on par with RH, with customs much higher obviously.

Edited by mrman

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9 hours ago, mikkadehachikai said:

VISVIM prices though........there were the times ten or fifteen years ago (or 20 even - my memory fails me) when FBTs were priced mid 20k JPY now are mid 60k in Japan and with intl premium which still baffles me.

QFT. i've seen this from buying visvim over the years. probably not as long as you, but long enough to see the price hike. problem is, the usd isn't as stable as it used to be. they (japanese brands) know that people come to japan to buy the goods cheaper because airfares are getting cheaper too, this essentially would price the locals out in the long run, and they'd be losing money producing for both, if not the majority of the international market. 

i could say simply, they're getting smarter. let's face it, japan isn't what it's like 10-15 years ago when nobody spoke english or signs weren't in english.. you'd had to get a "japanese mobile" if you weren't on cdma as most countries run on gsm. 

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3 hours ago, anklspr said:

Isn't price fixing and collusion Wall St shit? Plus, minimum advertised prices are normal for retail from what I can tell. And why is it capitalism when shop profits go down, but not when shops negotiate to keep themselves in business? 

I think your missing a very big aspect of this.

PBJ has been selling to all shops at the same price. Now they are DEMANDING OD and Denimio to charge their customers different prices based upon the region the product is delivered to. Or perhaps it is the currency used. Who the hell knows.

Here are the definitions that pertain to your question. From Study.com

"Capitalism affords economic freedom, consumer choice, and economic growth. Socialism, which is an economy controlled by the state and planned by a central planning authority, provides for a greater social welfare and decreases business fluctuations."

I've been meaning to ask this. Since PBJ has now announced this plan based upon equal pricing, who, how often, and by what metrics will the "international %s" be measured and adjusted? I mean if they're truly committed to equality wouldn't they need to at least make weekly adjustments. Some days my dollar is worth more, other days less.

If a brand wants to stay small and local with complete control. Great, do that. But if they want to be global, and reach new markets, they can't expect to exert the small local standards globally.

I believe, if this business philosophy persists, outside of Japan, PBJ will slowly  disappear from the marketplace.

 

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9 hours ago, mrman said:

I've made 2 purchases from OD and neither were 'caught' by customs as the value had been marked low enough. Without customs charges they are now on par with RH, with customs much higher obviously.

That's cool and you get triple points which will add up to a nice discount on future purchases.

I personally think this whole thing will blow over in a few months.  If you think the prices are too high don't buy anything or try using a proxy.  I will still buy from them just as I will still buy Iron Heart stuff which is similarly priced.  For my sizing I can only buy Iron Heart stuff from either IH-UK, Self Edge or R&H.  The fixed pricing is pretty much the same at all three.

 

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3 minutes ago, gazeboarder said:

That's cool and you get triple points which will add up to a nice discount on future purchases.

I personally think this whole thing will blow over in a few months.  If you think the prices are too high don't buy anything or try using a proxy.  I will still buy from them just as I will still buy Iron Heart stuff which is similarly priced.  For my sizing I can only buy Iron Heart stuff from either IH-UK, Self Edge or R&H.  The fixed pricing is pretty much the same at all three.

 

Rodeo bros on rakuten usually has the full size range on iron heart stuff, not as broad a selection as ihuk but they generally go up to xxxl in the stuff they stock. 

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1 hour ago, gazeboarder said:

I personally think this whole thing will blow over in a few months.  If you think the prices are too high don't buy anything or try using a proxy.  I will still buy from them just as I will still buy Iron Heart stuff which is similarly priced.  For my sizing I can only buy Iron Heart stuff from either IH-UK, Self Edge or R&H.  The fixed pricing is pretty much the same at all three.

 

the key difference, imho, is that PBJ's sizing isn't cut for western builds the way that IH is. I think PBJ has started to change that recently by incorporating xxl sizes into their lineup but their denim is another story. Even when PBJ's denim was lower through OD/Denimio I avoided trying them because the thighs/knees/hem were oddly proportioned to my eyes. Either the thigh/knees were too small or the hem was too wide, so for that reason I thought they were a risky proposition even if you were only spending $250. I have the deep indigo type 2 and the houndstooth type 2 and luckily both fit, but they're boxy around the shoulders and the cuffs are huge. But I really dig both jackets so I plan on holding onto them. I think IH excels at nailing down fits/fabrics and this is where they have everyone beat,

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1 hour ago, pudaspriest said:

Rodeo bros on rakuten usually has the full size range on iron heart stuff, not as broad a selection as ihuk but they generally go up to xxxl in the stuff they stock. 

 

Not for long.. from what I understand no more online IH sales in Japan starting in a few weeks.  And an international account or two may be getting cut too.

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37 minutes ago, ColonelAngus said:

the key difference, imho, is that PBJ's sizing isn't cut for western builds the way that IH is. I think PBJ has started to change that recently by incorporating xxl sizes into their lineup but their denim is another story. Even when PBJ's denim was lower through OD/Denimio I avoided trying them because the thighs/knees/hem were oddly proportioned to my eyes. Either the thigh/knees were too small or the hem was too wide, so for that reason I thought they were a risky proposition even if you were only spending $250. I have the deep indigo type 2 and the houndstooth type 2 and luckily both fit, but they're boxy around the shoulders and the cuffs are huge. But I really dig both jackets so I plan on holding onto them. I think IH excels at nailing down fits/fabrics and this is where they have everyone beat,

Good point and I should add that some latest fits in jeans and shirts did not come out of thin air. They came from constant feedback from western retailers. the x019 and new fit shirts would otherwise not exist. PBJ now does size 6 in shirts. UES developed larger flannels based on my feedback. I trialled samples for them which they sell directly online and I make no complain about. As I mentioned in my previous post I had no knowledge of this development with OD but I will say that Japanese brands' success with western consumers is often dependent on the relationship they meticulously nurture with their retailers. 

Edited by Danny @ Rivet & Hide

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I personally do not see a problem with what PBJ are trying to do. They are trying to be fair and show their retailers that they care about them. OD undervalue shipments so that they bypass custom charges, they will still do the same even with the price increase. It's not as if you will now have to pay an international price plus customs charges on top of that.

If you buy in Japan, you pay the Japanese price point (minus 8% for the VAT), if you buy from overseas you pay at a price point similar to the overseas retailers.

 

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12 minutes ago, Niro said:

I personally do not see a problem with what PBJ are trying to do. They are trying to be fair and show their retailers that they care about them. OD undervalue shipments so that they bypass custom charges, they will still do the same even with the price increase. It's not as if you will now have to pay an international price plus customs charges on top of that.

If you buy in Japan, you pay the Japanese price point (minus 8% for the VAT), if you buy from overseas you pay at a price point similar to the overseas retailers.

 

 

What you are stating about avoiding customs charges through a lower customs declaration and also saving the 8% Japanese tax is simply not true. You can have one or the other but you can't have both. A low customs declaration is not a guarantee of avoidance of duties.

"if you buy from overseas you pay at a price point similar to the overseas retailers." - can you elaborate this point because this is somewhat confusing?

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4 hours ago, Danny @ Rivet & Hide said:

Good point and I should add that some latest fits in jeans and shirts did not come out of thin air. They came from constant feedback from western retailers. the x019 and new fit shirts would otherwise not exist. PBJ now does size 6 in shirts. UES developed larger flannels based on my feedback. I trialled samples for them which they sell directly online and I make no complain about. As I mentioned in my previous post I had no knowledge of this development with OD but I will say that Japanese brands' success with western consumers is often dependent on the relationship they meticulously nurture with their retailers. 

This is a great point.  I've recently bought a few items from PBJ in their new larger sizes which is awesome.  Before they came out with the size 6 I would not even consider most of their tops.  The new indigo dyed sweatshirts are great.  I also picked up a size 5 UES shirt while I was in Japan.  The fit is awesome.  So, Danny thanks for provide feedback to UES on their flannels.

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By the way the xx-22oz-013 arrives next week and a month later the x011 in a new 17 oz weight. Both come in the modified slim tapered fit with a smidgen extra thigh space and narrower leg opening. These jeans and fit modifications have been part of over a year's discussion between me and PBJ (and possibly other retailers) on costly  trips to Japan, Berlin and Paris. The 17 oz. x011 was my idea and was going to be a collaboration. Minimums with PBJ on collabs are prohibitively high, exacerbated by the strong Yen (and woefully weak GBP). Rather than keep it on hold until I was in a position to commit I suggested to PBJ they make it a general release for all retailers (including Japanese ones) and that i would buy what I need.

It is worth pointing out the scale of not only fabric production  but also legendary indigo-dyeing techniques by PBJ. They still manage to deliver this at a lower price point than other Japanese brands we carry in store. I do not see them disappearing from the denim market place any time soon. Customers literally drool over what they make it is so good.

Edited by Danny @ Rivet & Hide

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While i mostly buy my stuff locally these days (being lucky to have a store now round the corner whose owners i call my friends and that carry "my" brands) i still think the customer looses here. Which isnt a drama, the market is saturated and theres plenty of choice. But i wouldnt buy for exaggerated prices in japan bearing the risk of picking a wrong size and a very high risk of additional costs through customs and taxes. Thats why i have no problem getting stuff for those prices locally - as i count the taxes / customs service and exchange/ try on possibility in. But getting a pair in japan for the same price with probably added costs wont do it for me. I can only hope that it will at least lead to a wide range of products in the west as most models and sizes seem to run out pretty fast here with rarher small demand and stock.

 

Good job regarding the sizes and cuts btw danny!

Edited by Max Power

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I have created  a thread for all Money related discussions: 

 

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Danny, if you could make the owners of PBJ resurrect their non-indigo color shirts production, that would be great.  PBJ used to carry checked shirts or flannels 6 or 7 years ago which I unfortunately passed on. They were made with gauze, if memory serves me right. Neither UES nor Fullcount get to their level. They used to have even outerwear like jackets that were also greatly made. I passed on a cardigan which I also regret. 

I talked several times with their Harajuku store staff and they told me that they are now focused on denim and indigo. Hopefully that would change. 

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14 hours ago, cool_hand said:

What you are stating about avoiding customs charges through a lower customs declaration and also saving the 8% Japanese tax is simply not true. You can have one or the other but you can't have both. A low customs declaration is not a guarantee of avoidance of duties.

"if you buy from overseas you pay at a price point similar to the overseas retailers." - can you elaborate this point because this is somewhat confusing?

I did not say you get both. I said if you buy IN japan (in person), you pay the japanese price point minus 8% VAT. On that point I should have made clear as a non resident of Japan.

If you are buying from overseas (buying from outside Japan) you are paying a higher price that is comparable to retailers outside Japan. For example on Okayama Denim, a pair of xx-017 jeans is $310 (converts to roughly £250). Rivet & Hide, which is based in UK sells them for £235, while Blue in Green, which is based in New York also sells them at $310.

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36 minutes ago, Niro said:

If you are buying from overseas (buying from outside Japan) you are paying a higher price that is comparable to retailers outside Japan. For example on Okayama Denim, a pair of xx-017 jeans is $310 (converts to roughly £250). Rivet & Hide, which is based in UK sells them for £235, while Blue in Green, which is based in New York also sells them at $310.

1

 

And prior to March 7th Okayama Denim sold xx-017 for $225 which was the focus of the original discussion, but I take your point. It's interesting to note that the price rise has matched Blue in Green's $ pricing and from this you might conclude these increases were driven by Blue in Green as Danny has stated he has never made protest over Okayama Denim's pricing. It would be interesting to see how regional sales develop going forward; I think it's safe to say Okayama Denim will inevitably lose sales, but will the small number of retailers who carry PBJ outside of Japan gain that many new customers? Opinion appears fairly divided here over these price increases, off-board everyone I've spoken to have indicated they are no longer going to buy into the brand. I agree with Danny that PBJ won't be disappearing from the denim market but this direction may turn out to be a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

 

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18 minutes ago, cool_hand said:

 

It's interesting to note that the price rise has matched Blue in Green's $ pricing and from this you might conclude these increases were driven by Blue in Green as Danny has stated he has never made protest over Okayama Denim's pricing. It would be interesting to see how regional sales develop going forward; I think it's safe to say Okayama Denim will inevitably lose sales, but will the small number of retailers who carry PBJ outside of Japan gain that many new customers? Opinion appears fairly divided here over these price increases, off-board everyone I've spoken to have indicated they are no longer going to buy into the brand. I agree with Danny that PBJ won't be disappearing from the denim market but this direction may turn out to be a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

 

I don't know that BiG was the driving force. Blue Owl Workshop and Mild Blend Supply also carry PBJ. But you're right, opinions are divided on the issue. Some will pay full price for the brick and mortar experience, while others will not. I think, too, that for some people once you've reached the $300 price point denim goods essentially become a luxury item, which not many people can afford. There could very well be a boom in business for domestic companies because of the price creep, or business will carry on as usual.

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When I say PBJ will have a smaller presence outside of Japan, it has nothing to do with their denim. I'm speculating that this new int'l pricing is a reflection of not knowing how to navigate a global market and grow brand awareness at the same time. In business, if you're not growing your market share, it is actually shrinking. Market share never stays in one place, because it is influenced by many factors outside of one businesses control.

I'd be curious to know if BIG was the director of this change. I know BIG seems to be carrying a whole lot less denim in all brands. I even read somewhere that they were moving in a different direction.

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I  suspect that outside Japan the majority of PBJ stuff has been and will be sold by local brick and mortar or web shops. OD and Denimio might be 'big' on sufu but I doubt that this is the case with the majority of western customers buying PBJ. And that's why neither they nor PBJ will suffer by the price hike.

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5 hours ago, ShootThePier said:

When I say PBJ will have a smaller presence outside of Japan, it has nothing to do with their denim. I'm speculating that this new int'l pricing is a reflection of not knowing how to navigate a global market and grow brand awareness at the same time. In business, if you're not growing your market share, it is actually shrinking. Market share never stays in one place, because it is influenced by many factors outside of one businesses control.

I'd be curious to know if BIG was the director of this change. I know BIG seems to be carrying a whole lot less denim in all brands. I even read somewhere that they were moving in a different direction.

If you think about it BIG was the first brand in the USA to carry PBJ.  They also helped with some of the more modern cuts.  Move forward in time and several other shops started selling the brand including OD, R&H and Blue Owl.  The one difference was OD was selling the brand at Japan local prices.  I would not be surprised if BIG got a little concerned about this.

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They are using this int'l pricing as a very poor band aid. It won't solve the problem long term, just make BIG feel like PBJ is trying. On the last page you mention exchange rates. Exchange rates change often, are the prices at Denimio at OD going change as often? What if Denimio and OD don't have the staff to change prices on every item each time the exchange rate changes? What happens when the dollar drops in value? Will BIG lower prices? No because their costs remain the same. You also mentioned location in relation to cost of doing business. That is BIG's issue, and I'm sure their location also gives them advantages OD and Denimio can't calculate and ask PBJ to make up for through asking all other retailers to adjust pricing.

This is a really bad band aid that is going to expose bigger problems. Once PBJ answers BIG's request, they should, honorably, answer any requests by all their other retailers.

When you play out all possible scenarios this becomes a very slippery slope.

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