EN
CEO Ken Kajima

Vision and mission for the next 30 years:
Vision: “LIFE TO BE FREAK,” or living in an enthusiastic, passionate way and making the world a better place.
Mission: enthusiastically coming together to create meaningful stories and put smiles on peopleʼs faces.

To commemorate Daytonaʼs 30th anniversary, we sat down to discuss what we see as the future of the company and where we are headed for the next thirty years. The result is this new vision and mission. The idea of “enthusiasm” is a vital source of energy for living well. We consider it each and every memberʼs duty to use this passion and enthusiasm to make the world a better place. Our commitment is that the values we propose contribute to bettering the lives of consumers. We are not simply in the business of selling clothes, but rather creating comprehensive services that improve the quality of life of both our customers and team. That is the true value we offer.

When I think about what drives me and gives me inspiration, it comes down to the fact that I love putting a smile on peopleʼs faces. Therefore, by everyone engaging with enthusiasm and conveying that enthusiasm to others, we can truly make the world a better and richer place. May the next thirty years bring more joy and fulfillment to everyone involved in our work.

High profitability and the pursuit of authenticity

The FREAKʼS STORE remains the key pillar of our business and has been refined and revamped over many long years. We are able to produce sophisticated shop designs at a low cost and make them rapidly profitable in the short term, deriving a return on investment. This is a model that other firms have failed to replicate. One of FREAKʼS STOREʼs strengths is our quick ROI.

While on the one hand we have these highly profitable ventures, what we do with those that are less profitable comes down to management decisions for where we want to take those parts of the business. Generally speaking, simply pursuing the more efficient or profitable ventures would naturally yield more profits and increase our equity, but that is not the ultimate goal of the company. We need to consider various figures in terms of how we are meeting our greater mission and vision. We are constantly assessing how to ensure a steady and sound business that will allow us a liquid supply of capital that we can reinvest into new and exciting ventures.

Retail as a growth sector

We expect our retail ventures to continue growing and reach 50B JPY. Evolutions of the FREAKʼS STORE and new branding efforts continue to grow, and we collectively want these ventures to reach 100B JPY.

We do not yet have a specific keyword to describe these new ventures, but one comes down to “life solutions,” in which the emphasis is less on consumption and more on the use of time and experiences; this would include dining. Specifically, we want to develop resorts that come with dining experiences and help support people in pursuing more active and exciting ways of living. With new and diversifying ways of work, people increasingly donʼt want to be bound by time or location. That being said, connecting with people and engaging in sales is still a must for any business. By developing, for example, a gallery to present and showcase products, shared offices for coworking, guest houses for overnight stays, and facilities with dining and merchandise, we can create the infrastructure to achieve that. This will let us meet good partners more quickly; in that sense, creating spaces for shared use and the achievement of goals together would be one sort of life solution we can offer.

One industry-wide issue is the lack of talent applying for jobs. We want to create a “talent bank” that would create a win-win for the industry, for Japan, and for the world at large. In addition to individual connections, we can also think about connecting with other companies, in the sense of productive M&A. We are already actively linking up with professionals in the craftsmanship space.

Defying convention and giving the reins to young people

We give young people equal opportunities and support their growth. Yet it may seem as if we arenʼt making the most of their potential just yet. So what we do want to do is share expertise with the next generation, but then give them a push and encourage them to take a chance on something new. If you are hungry to gain new skills and leverage them towards the next stage, you will hardly find a better place to do so.

And yet, suppose we have a great opportunity to match someone up. Will they be passionate enough to go for the chance even if that opportunity comes in at 10 PM? Sure, an eight hour workday with two days off a week is fine and is the norm, but the question you have to ask yourself is whether achieving your goals is something you can do within that timeframe, or whether you have to seize opportunity when and where it comes. Can you really put a stopwatch on what you love, doing it for eight hours and then turning off? When you love what you do, you can do it forever. Owners of a business usually have that attitude, but the ideal would be creating a diverse and open-ended company that offers people the chance to choose.

So in terms of everyone acting like an owner and having diverse ways of work on offer, itʼs not so much about literally having an ownerʼs mindset, but about “owning” your work so that you feel responsible for it. Taking this to its logical conclusion, your performance shouldnʼt be evaluated by the company or your boss, but by you. You are your own boss. What that implies is that the responsibility falls on you. No one will rate your performance or tell you what youʼre doing wrong. You have to self-evaluate. Itʼs challenging and requires a lot of responsibility,
but in the coming years, companies will need at least some people on the roster with a strong head on their shoulders and who take matters into their own hands. This is not unlike Americanʼs own diversity: your life is up to you to decide, so ways of orking should also be available to you within the company you work at. In general,
we think of freelancers as shouldering risk and making their way in the world. But what if your employer were to bear some of the risk and lighten your load,letting you take responsibility for choosing what kind of work you wanted to do?

The new venture I discussed earlier is but one aspect of the whole. Before we talk about “things,” the real essence of a company is its people and culture. If you volunteer to take on a task, the opportunity is there for you. That could be developing a new business model to solve social issues, or finding ways of expanding retail revenue. What we look for is people with the creativity to develop diverse ideas for the coming era, who have an understanding of the world around them, the intellect to share that inspiration with others, and the ability to achieve results. Daytonaʼs future in retail and apparel will be markedly different from the past. We are looking forward to finding new partners with whom we can make the world a better place.

ABOUT OUR HISTORY
WHY USA?

FREAKʼS STORE got its start out of the idea of conveying the richness, thrills, and enthusiasm that American culture has to offer. In the blink of an eye, thirty years have gone by.