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Isetan-Mitsukoshi’s Iwataya opens Lounge S, a new space for VIP clients

Iwataya, an Isetan-Mitsukoshi controlled department store in Fukuoka, has set up a new Gaisho (VIP) lounge designed to cater to its wealthiest 300 clients, including those in their 20s and 30s.

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Branded Lounge S, the 80 square-metre room is invitation-only and neither listed anywhere in the store’s literature nor on the store layout plan. Visitors routinely spend millions of yen while there, with the highest single visit so far seeing a total spend of 10 million yen.

Lounge S is not the first such service Iwataya has offered, but it is the most exclusive. Lounge B, in the main Iwataya store in Fukuoka, caters to customers who spend at least 1 million yen a year at the store, while Lounge R, on the 4th floor, is open to 5,000 to 6,000 customers who spend at least 3 million yen a year. Iwataya doesn’t disclose the spending levels of its top 300, although the figure is obviously higher again.

The lounge is decorated with high-end clocks, large-screen TVs and chandeliers made by Baccarat – all for sale. The store invites customers to the room or asks that they book in advance, limiting use to two groups per day. Clients can use the lounge to view products, shop online, or hold meetings and even parties. So far, 180 clients have used the room.

More than the other VIP rooms, Lounge S acts more as a concierge service. In addition to standard ranges on offer in the store’s catalogue, Iwataya will also source goods and services not available to any other customers. So far this has included luxury cars, interior decoration services and travel packages. 

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Only 10 percent of Iwataya’s clientele are younger than 40, but the number of higher income younger people aged 20 to 39 is increasing, presenting a new opportunity for department stores to expand the reach of their Gaisho services. 

(Source: Japan Consuming)