ZOZO's year-end party, continuing to grow with unstoppable momentum

ZOZO, which operates Japan’s largest fashion e-commerce website, ZOZOTOWN, continues to grow with unstoppable momentum. Throughout each year, ZOZO hosts various events for all employees, including the annual company-wide meeting at the beginning of the year.

Could you tell us the purpose and significance of the annual event “START TODAY CAMP”?

Certainly, it’s all about “unity.” Every year, we set a specific theme touching the company’s agenda, the thoughts of Mr. Maezawa our CEO, and other relevant factors. We then develop the event’s plans and activities based on this theme.

This year’s theme was “ARIGATO”

Yes. Over the past few years, the number of employees has been steadily increasing, making it harder to oversee who is doing what in which department within the company. To address this situation, we decided to collect messages of gratitude (“ARIGATO”) from all 600 employees, directed towards specific individuals within the company. From these messages, we selected and showcased heartwarming stories through a few video presentations.

How did the employees react to this initiative?

Gathering everyone together, sharing stories, having drinks, and engaging in conversations with various colleagues, while hearing expressions of gratitude, was indeed a valuable experience. After the event, some employees even thanked our organizing team, and the atmosphere within the company felt warmer the following day. Not just for this year, but every year, employees express their appreciation for START TODAY CAMP, which makes us feel that it’s truly worthwhile.

You usually have a preparation period of about two months, right?

That’s correct. We usually start discussing the theme with Mr. Maezawa about three months in advance, but there have been times when we had only one month to prepare… We collaborate with various individuals, including Mr. Tomura, to make it all come together.

Once the major theme is decided, we provide you with suggestions for staging and other aspects

Honestly, without Mr. Tomura, START TODAY CAMP wouldn’t be possible. Details like the sound system, entrance decorations, lighting, and visuals, including the choice of what music to play, significantly impact the event’s quality. We’re constantly seeking help from those who have expertise in areas beyond our own.

Not only the major aspects but also minor details, such as costumes for speakers and even their specific positions during their presentations, Mr. Tomura would never agree to something he couldn’t do. So, we sometimes make demanding requests, and we might appear a bit self-indulgent Lol. We tend to think that we can ask for anything, and he will consider it (laugh).

Is it true that 100% of your employees attend this event?

Yes, it’s true. Of course, there are cases of illness or other unavoidable reasons for absence, but in general, all employees attend. It’s an internal company event that everyone looks forward to.

In general, some employees find internal events burdensome, but how is it for your company?

In our case, there is absolutely no negative reaction. Rather, our employees are excited and eager to know what we have planned for the year. I believe they have faith in the event being enjoyable based on their past experiences.

Do you have any specific approaches to involve and engage your employees in this event?

Certainly, that’s considered crucial. For instance, even in the employee pre-event questionnaire, I always keep in mind how to make the event truly meaningful and enjoyable for everyone. I try to craft the questionnaire in a way that excites and intrigues their imagination. Also, for those who will be giving presentations, I actively provide advice and engage with them from their preparation. I’m always hoping for will genuinely have a great time and take home something meaningful.

This overall approach is made possible thanks to the expertise in collaboration with Mr. Tomura, among others, so we are grateful for that aspect as well.

As this event continues to be held annually, what kind of thoughts do you bring with you?

I always feel a great sense of accomplishment. Being able to create a place where all of us come together where we share messages and our CEO’s vision in an informal and enjoyable way is a unique opportunity, and I’m truly grateful for it. I approach it with the intention to meet various expectations of all employees and making it a success in every sense.


December, 2015



VenueHotel New Otani Makuhari "Tsuru no Ma"

Participants600 people

PurposeThe grand year-end party of ZOZO operating ZOZOTOWN, Japan's largest fashion e-commerce site