Retail in Asia


Japan’s Takashimaya Shinjuku close to record sales

Takashimaya Shinjuku is finally finding its niche. As well as strong support from inbound tourists and a boost from the closure of Odakyu Shinjuku and Tokyu Shibuya, Takashimaya is using the Shinjuku store’s large and airy sales floors to rethink what a department store can sell.

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As a result, FY2022 sales rose 36 percent to JPY79.5 billion (around USD527.1 million), up from JPY71.7 billion (around USD473.8 million) in 2019, and recorded the highest increase against 2019 for any Takashimaya store.

The Shinjuku store, which opened in 1996, recorded its highest sales in 2003 at JPY82.7 billion and management hopes to see this record exceeded this year.

As well as soaking up some of the JPY90 billion sales previously taken by Odakyu Shinjuku and Tokyu Honten, the Shinjuku store has made major changes to merchandising, with a particular focus on sports, tourists, luxury and unique areas such as robotics.

The biggest renovation has been sports, including a tripling of the golf sales floor to 1,000 sqm, making it one of the largest golf stores in Kanto. Golf sales, in part boosted by more younger people taking up the sport, rose 3.5-fold last year while outdoor brand sales rose 1.6 times.

Category expansion has also been successful. Takashimaya first opened its Robotics Studio in 2017 in a 10 sqm space but this has subsequently grown to 70 sqm due to the popularity of the store. Takashimaya is also experimenting with showrooming; it opened its first sample-only store called Meetz Store in April 2022, which emphasises customer service through staff trained in fashion styling.

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While increasing Gaisho sales of luxury goods, Takashimaya continues to exploit its location at Shinjuku station, holding multiple events monthly, ranging from work experience events where children can try out various jobs, and even a professional wrestling event in May.