Q&A with top management | From the president to investors
Updated on November 13, 2019
Responses to questions below are as of the month posted. The situation may have changed, due to various factors including economic conditions and the competitive landscape within the industry, depending on the time of viewing.
- The Cashless Point Reward Program came into operation in October. Was there any impact?
- We have not seen any major effect or problems due to the program. As we had not previously adopted any PC DEPOT-specific point card scheme to give our customers rewards or discounts, customers are using the reward service programs that are specific to payment service operators.
- Were you affected by Typhoon No. 19?
- We wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the victims of the recent typhoon that struck Japan. There were some stores that had to be closed or open for shorter hours, but they have returned to normal operations by now with the exception of the one below.
・PC Clinic at the K's Denki Tochigi Ohira store: Temporarily closed
There was nobody among our staff members or their families who were seriously affected. As support for persons afflicted by natural disasters, the Company is currently providing priority responses, such as first aid to PCs that were damaged by Typhoon No. 19 of 2019. For more information, please refer to the following notices.
・Support for and priority responses to damage from Typhoon No. 19 of 2019
- Were you affected by Typhoon No. 15?
- We wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the victims of the recent typhoon that struck Japan.
There were some stores that had to be closed or open for shorter hours mainly in Chiba Prefecture, but they have all returned to normal operations by now.
There was nobody among our staff members or their families who were seriously affected.
As support for persons afflicted by natural disasters, the Company is currently providing priority responses, such as first aid to PCs that were damaged by Typhoon No. 15 and the heavy rain accompanying the front in August.
For more information, please refer to the following notices.
・Support for and priority responses to damage from Typhoon No. 15 of 2019
・Support for and priority responses to persons afflicted by the heavy rain accompanying the front in August 2019
- In relation to the discontinuation of support for Windows 7, is the Company benefiting from a rise in corporate demand related to replacement?
- PC DEPOT provides products and services to home users. As we do not engage in corporate sales, a rise in corporate demand is not a significant factor.
- Does PC DEPOT face a significant competition with online shopping?
- As a relatively large portion of the company's total revenue comes from providing services such as membership services rather than selling goods, we are not in a position to compete with online shopping or discount shop operators in most cases.
- Have you started to experience any effect now that the tax increase is fast approaching?
- We are seeing a certain level of additional demand attributable to the last-minute purchases including the replacement of PCs before the tax increase.
On the other hand, our premium services are not affected significantly by the "last-minute" purchases before the tax increase as we have been proposing recommended purchases to premium members beforehand in a planned manner.
- What was your intent behind introducing experience-based products?
- We introduced them as one of the opportunities for customers to experience the creation of "activities," which the customers can continue to use in their digital lives going forward.
We intend to work together with our premium members to help them create rewarding digital lives through "joyful and valuable experience now" and "creating experiences that will lead to the future," which go beyond the mere "solution of current problems."
- Do you foresee any effect of the partial amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act to be enacted on October 1?
- The current collaborative initiative between the government and telecommunications carriers aimed at facilitating competition among carriers will support an all-inclusive "comfortable smart life" at home and in personal situations. We believe that it will give us wider options in bringing joy and comfort when we contact customers in a planned proposal style that we listen to the customers and develop plans for them looking ahead to the future.
- What key points do you prioritize when recruiting?
- The Company prioritizes those who are equipped with the specialized knowledge and technical skills that are required as digital life planners, as well as those who have the motivation to improve their knowledge and skills and possess high value-generation motivation and ethical values based on our philosophy.
- iPadOS was unveiled. Will it help you?
- Although we have not been able to identify any direct effect at the moment, iPad is positioned between iPhone and Mac, and it is a smart device that is easy for us to handle because it is used in a similar way to a computer. We would like to promote iPadOS in earnest.
- Mobile phone companies introduced new rate plans before the revised Telecommunications Business Act came into effect. How do you think it will affect your company?
- Although we have not been able to identify any direct effect at the moment, we will monitor developments in the market environment closely.
- Is an opinion-exchange session planned for the General Shareholders’ Meeting?
- The 25th Ordinary General Shareholders’ Meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. on June 26. For details, please see here. We plan to hold an opinion-exchange session between shareholders and the management following the conclusion of the General Shareholders’ Meeting on the day.
- What do you think about streamlining based on automation such as self-checkout?
- Currently, we are working to get our staff to generate values for premium members and customers and help them experience the benefit of those values. We think it is important for us to have a connection, or what is commonly called a friendly interface, with customers and to be more productive. For this reason, we are not thinking of automating our customer interfaces by introducing self-checkouts for the foreseeable future.
- Have you disclosed the details of President Nojima’s plan to purchase PC DEPOT CORPORATION shares to distribute as a gift to executives and full-time employees?
- The details, which can be found on the official PC DEPOT website, were outlined in a disclosed document (Notice regarding the Plan by the President to Acquire Shares in the Open Market for the Purpose of Distributing the Shares to Executives and Full-time Employees as a Gift as well as for Long-term Ownership; and Anticipated Changes in Major Shareholders) and during the IR Briefing that was held on May 21, 2019. Please refer to them for more details.
- Will your business performance be affected by the long consecutive holidays from April 27?
- The performance will likely be affected to a certain extent because store visits are often dependent on the weather. However, our dedicated service personnel provide existing members with planned proposals for their future digital life plan while seeking to standardize the frequency of store visits, so we believe that the effects will be negligible as a whole.
- How are the staff members who joined in April 2019?
- Approximately 80 employees comprising new graduates and internal application-based professionals joined the Company in total and were assigned to their positions after undergoing initial training. They were assigned as assistants to existing teams composed of three or so members who are responsible for premium members. The teamwork between the existing team members and the new assistants is fostered through face-to-face, two-way communication. Each employee strives to upgrade their consulting and technical skills through measures that prioritize each employee’s motivation to be independent.
- Is there any change to the recruitment plan of full-time employees?
- Replenishing personnel is a factor necessary for making proposals to our members systematically.We expect around 80 new employees to join the company in April 2019 including current employees who will be promoted to full-time employment.We plan to employ around 100 new graduates in April 2020 and will promote current employees to full-time employment as necessary.
- Is it possible to increase store holidays?
- We have set about one day a month as a regular store holiday in principle since January 2018. We will continue our efforts including various systems and personnel allocation.
- Is cashless payment acceptable in your stores?
- Our stores accept various credit cards, prepaid transportation cards, and QR and barcode payments, such as ApplePay and PayPay. Acceptable payment methods are exhibited in stores and the store information page. Please visit click here(Japanese only).
- Do you provide sponsorship for arts, culture or sports?
- Our basic CSR policy is to use our stores to eliminate the disparities in the information society (bridging the so-called digital divide) that arise as a result of differences in age, gender, income, education, place of residence and other factors.
We will continue business activities aimed at achieving this goal.
- Are you affected by the widespread use of electronic payment systems?
- Because a larger percentage of our customers are making payments using credit cards or electronic money than before, we don't yet know the impact of the widespread use of electronic payment systems these days. But we think there is little direct impact.
Meanwhile, because there is a demand for support for people who will start using electronic payment systems, we are going to pay attention to the trend.
- Support for Windows 7 is ending in one year. Does that affect your performance?
- It is said that approximately 17.5 million units of Windows 7 are currently in use. When the support ends, there will be a demand for data migration services for people who will purchase a new computer and also a demand for new computer setup and upgrade services for those who will continue to use the same computer.