Japanese department store and duty-free operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is set to launch its first online store with Tmall Global, an e-commerce website operated by the world’s largest retailer Alibaba Group Holding, on Friday November 25, as it seeks to build on its Chinese customer base.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group is Japan’s largest department store group, operating a total of 26 stores nationwide. The retailer operates four separate department store brands —Mitsukoshi, Isetan, Iwataya and Marui-Imai.
The retailer said the move is part of its efforts “to position its digital strategy as the core of its business, and integrated cyberspace and the real world to develop new values, customers and business projects.”
Isetan Mitsukoshi’s duty-free sales across its store network in the first half of 2016 amounted to around 3.7 times that of the same period in 2013. Chinese customers, who account for about 70% of Isetan Mitsukoshi’s sales of duty-free goods, are interested in high-quality Japanese products that are selling well to Japanese customers.
Isetan Mitsukoshi will partner Tmall Global to build long-term relationships with its customers who have shopped at its stores in Japan and develop new customers in China.
Isetan Mitsukoshi aims to sell unique products to differentiate itself from other companies that mainly deal with daily necessities.
The product range will initially comprise hundreds of types of products ranging from fashion clothing, miscellaneous goods, cosmetics and foodstuffs to daily necessities. Initially, the company will focus on its own brands and seasonal products and gradually add Japanese brands to its lineup.
Isetan Mitsukoshi will provide unique services, such as after-sales services, including repair and additional processing, and pop-up stores showing its products to customers, by utilising its store network in China.