Japanese department store operator Takashimaya has opened inside a brand new shopping mall in Thailand, opting for the capital city of Bangkok to bring the Japanese way of luxury retailing to the nation.
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Scaling seven floors, the newly named and opened Siam Takashimaya will form just a small part of the $1.7 billion megamall, which also houses the entertainment development project, Iconsiam.
The Iconsiam is a sprawling 525,000-square-metre complex developed by Siam Piwat and Charoen Pokphand Group, which includes two residential towers over 50 floors high, a movie theatre, a concert auditorium and a variety of retail options, outside of Takashimaya.
The mall location looks to serve as draw card for the Japanese retailer, whose expansion into Thailand comes at a time when Japanese physical retail is shrinking back home and consumer tastes are moving toward online shopping.
The shift means Takashimaya — and other Japanese department stores like it – are entering nearby Asian economies where tourism is high, and retail is burgeoning, in order to survive.
“Southeast Asia and China are growing economically, so in order to increase our sales we have to go to these types of markets,” said Hironobu Hanai, a Takashimaya representative.
“That is one of the reasons why we are opening a store in Thailand.”
Takashimaya has already witnessed great success with its Singapore store opening some 25 years ago, and it is hoping to replicate the same in Thailand – bringing the best of Japan to rich Thais.
To date, the Singapore store accounts for around 20% of the group’s operating profit, at 6.1 billion yen ($54 million).
The department store’s complete offerings include a large proportion of Made in Japan, with 30% of the 530 brands, on sale at the new Siam Takashimaya, originating in Japan.
An entire floor is dedicated to Japanese food, including a supermarket selling luxury products and premium restaurants.
Another floor of Siam Takashimaya is devoted to beauty products and perfume along, as well as cosmetic services, in addition to floors for women’s and menswear.
Finally, the last floor sells kid’s products and homewares and will host more restaurants.
Siam Takashimaya expects to turn its first profit in the year ending February 2020, as per Japan Times reports.