Message from the President

Striving for Empathy as a Watchword, AEON MALL Aims to Become a Life Design Developer that Offers New Value for the Future.


Amid the two-year span of the COVID-19 pandemic, infections continued in Japan and overseas. AEON MALLs operated under a challenging business environment. Customers, who were forced to stay in their homes, experienced changing lifestyles. We saw a shift in focus from shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. Still, this was not a trend arising solely due to COVID-19. We should look at this shift as a rapid acceleration of a trend expected to occur several years in the future. At the height of the pandemic, people avoided nonessential trips outside the home. AEON Mall must provide consumers with a compelling reason to shop and keep coming back. For us, the main outcome of the past year was the opportunity to take a hard look at the future role of AEON MALL as a platform the response to this "why." How do we survive the post-COVID-19 era? We must think about how to integrate the real and the online seamlessly, offering experiential value. Even in an era of rapid social change, we believe there are not only rational economic people, who seek mainly efficiency, but also those who seek slower, experiential value that cannot be obtained through the pursuit of efficiency alone. We must find ways to offer pleasing experiences to customers who spend time in our malls. Society will only make greater demands for environmental friendliness, safety, and security in the future. These are the greatest concerns of any person, and we aim to answer these concerns as a matter of course, ensuring that our customers spend purely joyful time at malls, with no worries about the outside world.

Finding the Why Brings the Shape of the Next-Generation Mall into Focus

Our vision for AEON MALL is to be the center of the local community, providing solutions indispensable for everyday living. We have been thinking about what it means for customers to visit a mall amid the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking on new initiatives and delivering tangible answers. One initiative is to provide value in terms of the mall environment, and we have focused on creating spaces that appeal to all five senses. AEON MALL Hakusan (Ishikawa Prefecture) offers relaxing spaces and greenery. AEON MALL Nagoya Noritake Garden (Aichi Prefecture) is an office complex that responds to changing work styles. These two facilities embody our vision of a new model for shopping malls.

AEON MALL Hakusan AEON MALL Hakusan (Ishikawa Prefecture)
AEON MALL Nagoya Noritake Garden AEON MALL Nagoya Noritake Garden (Aichi Prefecture)

Overseas, we plan to open a multifunctional logistics center in Cambodia in fiscal 2023 as a means to provide solutions in the region. This center is an effort to solve the shortage of logistics facilities in the special economic zone, where foreign companies continue to expand operations. Here, we are solving local social issues beyond the framework of a conventional mall business. In taking on new challenges one at a time through trial and error, I believe we are making progress toward change. We must take on these challenges driven by a strong desire to make these initiatives new pillars of our business, rather than merely functions that complement the mall business.

Achieve digital transformation (DX) as conceived by AEON MALL is another important topic. Technology is not an answer in itself. The first step is to identify the issue, and then leverage technology as a solution. This is an initiative by which we envision our ideal future, giving shape to this vision to achieve a DX that supports emotions and ideas. I am convinced that driven by a strong desire, we will grow into an advanced DX company.

Forming a Medium-Term Management Plan Looking Ahead to 2030

Our medium-term plan beginning in fiscal 2023 will be the last plan leading toward our long-term vision ending in fiscal 2025. We intend to prepare steadily toward creating an ideal AEON MALL in 2025, building a solid foundation upon which to pass the baton to a post-2025 medium-term plan. Continuing as before by focusing on short-term figures will not produce the results we seek. If we provide value suffi cient to earn the support and appreciation of our customers, then the numbers will follow in turn. Gone are the days when simply opening a large mall in the suburbs is enough to provide great value to customers. How do we provide new value unique to brick-and-mortar malls while ensuring the safety and security of our customers? We must anticipate changes in customer lifestyles, consider the new experiential value to be gained beyond purchasing behavior, and respond with a sense of urgency. This is also true for opening malls overseas. Rather than simply building numerous shopping centers as we have in the past, we must consider the value we provide as a foreign company. What types of infrastructure are necessary for each country or region? How do we create deep roots and become accepted members of local communities? The answers will lead ultimately to an increase in the number of overseas mall openings and profit growth. We view Vietnam as our most important area for development. When I served as a representative of our local subsidiary in Vietnam, I learned about the needs, culture, and climate of each area. We provided solutions that included employment opportunities and contributions to community development. As a result, our malls have become important sources of value, and we received an invitation to open malls in other areas.

Embodying the AEON MALL Philosophy of Heartful and Sustainable

Beyond sustainable growth and improved corporate value, I believe stakeholders want to see the future we aim to achieve for AEON MALL as a company. I am strongly committed to the brand statement, Heartful and Sustainable. The concept of Heartful and Sustainable is the very essence of AEON MALL corporate activities that contribute to the development and revitalization of local communities and society. In this pursuit, we act as a corporate citizen toward sustainable societies based on our management philosophy of being a Life Design Developer. Heartful and Sustainable is a term that embodies the philosophy and actions on which AEON MALL has focused since before the words ESG or SDGs were even known. Instead of creating initiatives for the SDGs, we consider how the things we already do in pursuit of our philosophy fit within the 17 goals of the SDGs. Most recently, we have been working on the local production for local consumption of electricity, efforts to reduce food waste, and clothing recycling through our Happy Clothes Relay! program. In these ways and others, we seek to create circular economies.

Heartwarming Sustainable

We call our initiatives to contribute to and revitalize communities and society, Heartful and Sustainable. We pursue these initiatives to offer sustainable societal development as a good corporate citizen under our management philosophy as a Life Design Developer. We strive to create a better society, not only on our own, but also in partnership with our customers, communities, companies, shareholders, and investors.

Working with Stakeholders Through a Cycle of Empathy

We believe our business is built on a cycle of empathy. Employees empathize with each other to create new ideas, which are then shared among partner specialty store companies and become a tangible part of our malls. The malls share these ideas with customers, who in turn share them with each other. This in turn leads to empathy within the local community, which eventually leads back to our partners and employees. As this cycle expands, we become a presence rooted in each of our communities. We are a platform for creating a stage together with the support of our partners. We can only co-create value when we foster empathy with local communities. We are convinced that this cycle of empathy is what we stand for as a Life Design Developer that creates the future of community living. We hope to expand the cycle of empathy with all stakeholders and develop our business further. We look forward to your continued support.

Yasutsugu Iwamura
President and CEO