Retail in Asia

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Japan’s Tokyu department store to close Bangkok location


Japanese department store Tokyu is set to shutter its Bangkok location for good, according to Japanese media reports, resulting in it quitting the Thai market after more than 35 years in the nation.

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Located in MBK Centre shopping mall, the iconic Asian retailer will have its final day of trade in January next year, the Nikkei financial news reported.

The closure is a result of increasing competition and the loss of tourism in Thailand, thanks to travel restrictions to Bangkok induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The department store is yet to confirm or deny its pending closure. If the closure does come into effect, the shuttering will mark two years since Tokyu closed its other Thailand store at Paradise Park, also operated by MBK, back in January 2019.

Tokyu Department Store, part of the Tokyo-listed Tokyu group, first entered Thailand in 1985.

Tokyu’s exit news proceeds the departure of fellow Japanese department store retailer Isetan from Bangkok’s CentralWorld, in August.

Come January 2021, Takasimaya, which arrived in 2018 and has a location at the Iconsiam — will be the only Japanese retailer left in Thailand.

Japanese department stores continue to take a beating in the Covid-19 climate, hurt by lesser foot traffic and international tourism both domestically and in neighbouring Asian economies.

In its most recent update, the Japan Department Stores Association said department store sales in September plunged by 33.6 percent in yen terms to about US$3.2 billion dollars, nearly dropping one-third compared to last year.

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The year-on-year drop was bigger than it was for August, which saw a 22 percent drop, marking the 12th straight month of decline.