Tower Japan Restructures

Retailer forms two operating units.

Tower Records Japan has made a series of organizational and personnel changes aimed at increasing efficiency and boosting sales at its 69 stores nationwide.

On March 1, Tokyo-based Tower will launch two new "virtual companies," which, although technically still part of Tower Records Japan, will act autonomously of the main organization. Tower Retail Operation Co. will be in charge of the chain's store management business, while Tower Administration Co. will carry out administrative work for stores, merchandise distribution and store development.

The company will also create a “group headquarters” to oversee management of the Tower Japan group of companies, which also include the wholly owned subsidiaries NMNL Ltd. and Wave Inc. NMNL handles Tower Japan’s advertising and sales operations, its free "bounce" magazine, e-commerce services and Tower Mobile and the NMNL Records label. The 30-store Wave music chain was purchased by Tower from Parco Inc. in March 2004.

In related personnel moves, Tower Records Japan president/CEO Akio Moriwaki will move to the newly created position of chairman at the end of March, while Hiroyuki Fushitani, currently president of NMNL Ltd., will become CEO. NMNL Ltd. COO Akihiro Shoji becomes Tower COO and director of NMNL Ltd.

"This new restructuring of our organization will be a turning point for us, enabling the entire Tower Group to grow and evolve," says Moriwaki.

In May 2002, Tower Records Japan was sold to Tokyo-based Nikko Principal Investments Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese securities company Nikko Cordial.