Sogo Co. and Seibu Department Stores Ltd., which integrated their operations Sunday under the holding company Millennium Retailing Inc., officially kicked off summer gift campaigns Wednesday.

Sogo and Seibu held ceremonies at their flagship department stores — Sogo at its Yokohama store and Seibu at its Ikebukuro store — at the same time in the morning to stress their unity under Millennium Retailing.

In Ikebukuro, Seibu President Fumiaki Osaki told the heads of Seibu’s 21 outlets, “I hope all of you more than triple the efforts you’ve made so far, and also help in the transformation of a new Seibu Department Stores.”

Seibu and Sogo have largely expanded their lineup of original products developed by the emporium group for the summer gift campaign.

Sogo’s Yokohama store and Seibu’s Ikebukuro store will open gift centers June 18.

Given their combined operating revenues of more than 1 trillion yen in fiscal 2002, the new department store group is comparable in terms of annual sales to industry leaders like Takashimaya Co.

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