In Our Third Year of “Entertainment as Infrastructure”
It is almost two years since COVID-19 started raging throughout the world. During this period of time, our Group has been unable to conduct its operating activities sufficiently, resulting in an extremely disappointing, but inevitable, operating loss for the fiscal year ended August 2021 (“last fiscal year”). I extend my profound apologies for our shareholders and other stakeholders for the great concern we have caused.
While the situation remains unpredictable, with the progress of various government policies and the roll-out of vaccines, people’s daily lives are gradually returning to normal, and all Karaoke Manekineko stores nationwide reopened on October 1, 2021. We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts to hear the lovely comments from our customers, telling us how much they had being waiting for and looking forward to our re-opening.
In September 2019, as our action toward our next leap forward, we announced our medium-term vision “entertainment as infrastructure” with three key initiatives and have been making cautious yet steady progress even under the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to report on what we have accomplished to date.
(1) Building a nationwide Karaoke Manekineko network
The goal of the medium-term vision is 30,000 karaoke rooms. Last fiscal year, we opened 48 karaoke stores, including stores acquired from Daisyo Corporation, increasing the total number of karaoke rooms from 11,900 at the beginning of the fiscal year to 13,200 at the end.
(2) Making entertainment a vital part of everyone’s life
This initiative involves offering new forms of entertainment and expanding the ways of enjoying the rooms, while keeping karaoke as the central focus. Last fiscal year, the establishment of our own live entertainment viewing network, which streams our own exclusive content, and the installation of the Mira Pon! Service, which allows customers to watch content stored in their smartphones on the large screens in the karaoke rooms, have been completed in all stores. In addition, the full-scale launch of KARASTA×ONEREC, a karaoke video recording service we have developed with mixi, Inc., is just moments away.
(3) Hiring and training of people who will be the foundation of these new services
To continue expanding our karaoke store network while taking our services to a higher level, we must hire and train more people. Last fiscal year, we relocated our company training facility, Maneki-juku, to Tokyo with larger scale. Furthermore, we newly established Human Resources Development Department, which will cover a wide range of functions, including the pursuit of various recruitment initiatives, the enhancement of employee benefits and welfare, the implementation of grade-wise training curriculums for HR development, and follow-ups with employees by this department) in addition to that from their direct supervisors.
I look forward to the continued patronage and support from our stakeholders.
CEO & President