Economic conditions, including business, consumption and financial trends, and competition with other retailers of the same and different types have a material impact on the Group's main department store and Parco business segments. These business environment factors could adversely affect the performance and financial position of the Group.
Laws, regulations and legal revisions
The Group is subject to laws and regulations relating to the opening of large-scale retail stores, antitrust, subcontracting transactions, consumer protection, tax systems, the environment and recycling. In addition, an increase in the consumption tax rate resulting from any future amendments to the tax system could reduce consumer spending. Thus the laws, regulations and legal revisions described here may lead to restriction of business activities, increases in costs and declines in sales, which could adversely affect the performance and financial position of the Group.
Changes in the natural environment and accidents
Earthquakes, floods, typhoons and other natural disasters, unexpected accidents, outbreaks of new types of influenza and other situations can result in loss of sales opportunities and hinder the performance of operations. Abnormal weather conditions, such as warm winters and cold summers, can also lead to decreased sales of the Group's main products, such as clothing and foodstuffs. Thus, changes in the natural environment, accidents and other serious events can adversely affect the performance and financial position of the Group.
The Group's core segments, the department store business and the Parco business, engage in product transactions with consumers. Regarding all commodities that are supplied, ample attention is devoted to ensuring that they are appropriate, safe and otherwise suitable products. In the rare event that a product sold is flawed, causes food poisoning or is otherwise defective, there is the possibility that the Group would be subjected to public regulation. There are also cases of expenses occurring from liability for damages or other responsibilities related to product liability, default of obligation and other circumstances. Likewise possible are sales declines stemming from loss of credibility for the Group and other instances of adverse impact on the performance and financial position of the Group.
The Group is also involved in out-of-store sales in its department store business and other credit sales transactions to corporations and other clients. Despite the meticulous credit management exercised in these transactions, there is the potential for expenses to accrue in the event of accounts receivable rendered unrecoverable due to the bankruptcy of customers, as well as other events capable of adversely affecting the performance and financial position of the Group.
The Group has an internal system in place to strictly manage and protect personal and confidential information held by the Group. However, leaks of such information due to unexpected accidents and incidents could damage the reputation of the Group and adversely affect the Group's performance and financial position.
The systems enabling the Group to operate its business are subjected to centralized control primarily in the outsourced data center. This data center is equipped with earthquake-resistant design, dual power sources and telecommunications lines, an in-house power generator, intrusion detection system and other sophisticated safeguards. But even so, in the event that a natural disaster or accident exceeding expectations results in equipment damage, system shutdown or communication problems with the various business sites, the situation could interfere with the Group's business activities and adversely affect the performance and financial position of the Group.
Fixed assets under ownership
In the course of its business activities, the Group comes to acquire and maintain ownership of store-use land and buildings and other fixed assets for commercial purposes. Impairment losses accompanying the worsening of business income or cash flows, declines in land prices or other developments could exert a material impact on the Group’s performance and financial position.
The Group engages in business activities abroad, primarily in the wholesale business segment. Unpredictable economic and currency fluctuations, political and social confusion arising from terrorism, wars and civil wars, and legislative and taxation changes impacting these overseas operations could adversely affect the performance and financial position of the Group.
During the consolidated fiscal year under review, there were no lawsuits that had a material impact on the Group. However, should a significant lawsuit arise and judgment be made against the Group in the future, the performance and financial position of the Group could be adversely affected.
Business tie-ups, capital tie-ups, corporate acquisition
The Group may enter into business tie-ups or capital tie-ups with other companies, acquire other companies or otherwise work to expand its business and strengthen competitiveness. When reaching decisions on such moves, required and ample studies are devoted to the pertinent issues. However, changes in the economic conditions or other developments may result in the failure to achieve the anticipated earnings or results, thereby adversely affecting the performance and financial position of the Group.