On November 11 K’s Holdings Corporation held a party at the Imperial Hotel to commemorate the sixty-fifth anniversary of its founding. As it also served as an occasion to mark the appointments of Mr. Shuichi Kato as chairman and Mr. Hiroyuki Endo as president, the party was an especially high-spirited affair.

Mr. Kato remarked, “During the 64 years since our founding in 1947, our sales have not once recorded a decline from the previous year. They have constantly continued to increase. I believe this achievement is because customers have supported our management philosophy, proclaimed from the time of our founding, of supplying products and services from the perspective of the customer.”

Mr. Kato went on to explain that the management stance advocated by K’s of ganbaranai keiei means management that does not go beyond its means—that is to say, steadfast and reliable management that avoids wasting energy by setting unrealistic goals and concentrates on unequivocally practicing the basics.

“If a company sets unrealistic targets of increasing sales or increasing profits, it ends up pressing customers to purchase expensive products or profitable products in order to achieve them. In the short term this might lead to higher sales and revenue, but the customers feel they have been forced to buy products they don’t want, so they stop coming to the store and that company’s growth eventually wanes. In order to avoid such a situation, from now on also our company will continue to achieve steady growth with a strategy of ganbaranai management.”

Mr. Kato also commented, “Our company is supported by many people, including employees, business partners, customers, and shareholders. We would not be able to exist without them. We place importance on the harmonious circle of human relations and endeavor to implement a management style that makes everyone feel happy. Moreover, I believe that this leads to a significant social contribution. Precisely because we think of our customers, we look after our employees. If our employees become overstressed because of heavy quotas or a lot of overtime, we cannot expect them to greet customers cheerfully.”

“Furthermore, by placing importance on our business partners and maintaining good relations with them, we are able to display good products in our stores in a priority manner. So it is very important to look after both employees and business partners. As a result, the company grows, and in the end we are able to reward our shareholders.”

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you all, because it is thanks to your support that we are able to celebrate our sixty-fifth anniversary in this way.”

Next, President Endo delivered an address to mark his appointment, and his declaration that he firmly intended to further develop the ganbaranai management style met with thunderous applause.

I have had the honor of holding a dialogue with Mr. Kato in this magazine for over a decade. During this long period, I have been deeply impressed by his opinions, which have always been firmly rooted in the essence of the matter. I am certain that K’s will continue growing from its sixty-fifth anniversary and go on to mark its seventieth, eightieth, and hundredth anniversaries.

Many people at the party commented that they sensed Mr. Kato’s warm personality in the way he often says “Thanks to you …” At the time of the Lehman shock, I remarked to him that it was surely going to be a difficult year for K’s as well. “We’ll get by,” he beamed. And when I asked him about this fiscal year, in which we have suffered the unfortunate earthquake disaster and no longer have the help of the government’s eco-point scheme, again he replied with that beaming smile.

On K’s website, the last line of the top message reads, “In other words, we are a company that continues to grow steadily whether the operating environment is favorable or not.”