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Kintetsu department store woos foreign shoppers

Kyodo

Kintetsu Department Store Co. wants more foreign customers to shop at its flagship store, which opened in Japan’s tallest skyscraper in March, President Keiji Takamatsu said.

In a recent interview, Takamatsu said the Osaka-based company wants to raise 3 percent of its overall revenue from tourists instead of 1 percent at present.

“We would like to expand our capacity to accommodate multicultural customers,” Takamatsu said, adding that the company plans to hire more foreign staff to improve service for such shoppers. He did not specify a time frame for the target.

Kintetsu is also considering serving more halal food at restaurants there to match the influx of visitors from Southeast Asian nations with large Muslim populations, Takamatsu said.

The company, which has set a sales target of ¥145 billion for the business year ending next February, has no plans to revise the goal despite weaker than expected sales for the March-May period, he said.

The 300-meter Abeno Harukas building housing Kintetsu’s flagship store became fully operational on March 7, boasting 100,000 sq. meters of retail space, the largest in Japan.