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Failure Case Study: Subway Japan - Fast-food chain losing traction in Japan's competitive environment

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  • 19 Pages
  • January 2019
  • Region: Japan
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 4750183
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Failure Case Study: Subway Japan - Fast-food chain losing traction in Japan's competitive environment


"Failure Case Study: Subway Japan", is part of Successes and Failures research. It examines the details of and reasons behind the failure of Subway sandwich outlet chain in the Japan. It delivers the critical "what?", "why?", and "so what?" analysis to deliver crucial lessons that increase your chances of running a successful fast-food restaurant business.

Subway is a global sandwich chain, and launched its first outlet in Japan in 2019. Around 2004, the chain redesigned its menu to cater to the Japanese palate, which helped the business grow to 480 outlets. However, after store numbers peaked in 2014, the chain began to struggle, closing outlets due to losing traction among consumers.

  • The rise of new competitors and dissatisfaction with Subway's customization process have been leading consumers to abandon the brand.

  • Japanese consumers find that Subway's sandwich-ordering system is time-consuming and stressful, due to the need to queue and the expectation that the shopper will customize the sandwich.

  • Global restaurant brands must understand local market characteristics and consider adjusting their menu or operating system depending on the location.

Reasons to buy
  • Reduce the risk of failure by learning from brands/products that have under-performed: failed innovation can severely impact profit and reputation.

  • Understand the relevant consumer trends and attitudes that drive and support innovation success so you can tap into what is really impacting the industry.

  • Gain a broader appreciation of the fast-moving consumer goods industry by gaining insights from both within and outside of your sector.

  • Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. What?

3. Why?

4. Take-Outs

5. Appendix

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Subway Japan

  • McDonald's Japan

  • Seven Eleven Japan