Enterprise Europe Network

Japanese plastic drainage parts manufacturer for kitchen sinks and bathrooms is seeking for distributors in the EU, especially Germany and Italy

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Partner keyword: 
Home furnishing and housewares
Furnishing and Furniture
Manufacture of builders´ ware of plastic


A Japanese manufacturer of plastic drainage fittings and drain traps is looking for partners in the EU, especially in Germany and Italy. They wish to engage in distribution services agreements. The drainage parts offered by the company aim to achieve high customer satisfaction and durability in a market where most competitors’ main focus is to cut on costs. They wish to pro-actively work with EU partners and offer a high-end alternative in a stagnant market.



This Japanese company is the only company in Japan that specializes in the detailed manufacturing and selling of plastic drainage fittings and drain traps. They sell these products to Japanese kitchen, bathroom, and wash basin manufacturers. The company has their own R&D facility on its premises, allowing them to integrate the manufacturing process with design, production and sales. This tactic has resulted in an over 50% market share in Japan.

They have a long history with experience dating back to the 1970s. They played a large part in changing domestic kitchen drain traps from cast iron to resin. The wire-type pop-up drain plug they released in 1984 became the standard to replace the conventional rubber plug with chain. Due to its domestic popularity and wide usage this has become the companies’ main product. The company established a sales company in China in 2005 and has ongoing dealings there. In Europe, there were episodic transactions with an Italian company.

In Japan cost-effective and simple drainage fittings are used for inexpensive kitchens and bathtubs, while high-end systems have functionally superior, well-designed drainage parts of the highest quality. European drainage parts are currently almost exclusively designed for the lowest cost. Whether used for high-end home sinks or tubs, or for commercial products bought at home improvement stores, a single-function uniformly designed component is used for the drainage function in Europe.

The Japanese company wants to bring alternatives to the EU that provide added value aside from low cost. They are looking for a partner in the EU who can appreciate this type of added value not commonly found in the European market, and especially see a lot of potential partners in Germany and Italy. They are willing to cooperate with partners in the form of distribution services agreements. The Japanese company is hoping to actively cooperate with potential partners, for example by providing hands-on seminars detailing their products, product leaflets, and also by sending local staff to offer support at trade fairs in the EU. They also exhibit at a large relevant trade fair in Milan, Italy.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The Japanese company has been awarded a prestigious Japanese design award four times. Products awarded with this prize are usually praised for their inventive design that manages to challenge pre-existing norms. For example, one of the technologies produced by the Japanese company is their wire pop-up system. In general, competing products suffer a lack of innovation. Nearly always the same type of rubber plugs, pull-up knobs, click clack plugs, or bar types are used to collect water in kitchen sinks, bathtubs and wash basins. Any of these competing products can be provided at a lower cost, but they do not achieve additional customer satisfaction and durability in terms of use. Furthermore, for users with injured or impaired hands, these options, which often require some strength to operate, can be difficult to use. Maintenance cannot be performed on many of these parts once they have been damaged, meaning that you would need to replace the entire kitchen sink, bathtub, or wash basin. On the other hand, the Japanese companies’ in-house developed products are easy to install and uninstall, and have passed long-term repeatability tests for quality assurance. In rare cases of damages, the company offers its pop-up system with spare parts for easy replacement and increased economic value.

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Japanese company is seeking distributors that already have a route to sell drainage fittings for kitchen sinks, bathtubs, and basins. The partner should ideally have demonstrable sales experiences in this regard, with sales channels in multiple countries within Europe. However, partners with only sales channels in their domestic market could also be considered. Since the Japanese company owns no warehouses in the EU, an ideal partnership would involve the EU partner keeping local stock of the Japanese companies’ products. Considering the logistical costs shipping from Japan, ocean shipping by container units’ would be most practical, but the Japanese company is open to the idea of further consultation and discussion with potential partners.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250


Dissemination sector group : 
Dissemination preferred : 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom