Isetan Mitsukoshi to launch operations in Indonesia

JIJI

Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. may launch operations in Indonesia by opening an Isetan outlet in Jakarta possibly in 2015, sources said.

The company believes Indonesia is a promising market because of its rapid economic expansion. In addition, Indonesia has a population of over 200 million, the largest among Southeast Asian countries. A specific location for the planned first Isetan store will be decided later.

“The income levels of wealthy individuals and middle-class people in Indonesia are rising, and consumers’ appetite to spend is increasing there,” Isetan Mitsukoshi President Hiroshi Onishi said Tuesday.

Noting that a growing number of foreign retailers are launching operations in Indonesia, Onishi said, “Now is the best time to advance into the nation. . . . Otherwise, we will be too late.”

Isetan Mitsukoshi already operates Isetan stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, as the group places emphasis on Southeast Asia. The company had also been considering opening a store in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, but is now putting priority on Indonesia because “the pace of the retail industry development is faster in Indonesia than in Vietnam,” Onishi said.

Matsuzakaya to close

Kyodo

J. Front Retailing Co. said Tuesday its Matsuzakaya department store in the upscale Ginza commercial district in Tokyo will close on June 30 before reopening as a large shopping mall around 2016 and 2017.

The Ginza store, which opened in 1924, logged sales of ¥10.2 billion in its business year that ended last February.

Its employees will keep their jobs after the closure and will be transferred to new assignments, the company said.