Business / Corporate

Targeting foreign tourists, Laox to acquire Kyoto taxi operator

Kyodo

Laox said Wednesday it will acquire a taxi operator in Kyoto in an effort to enhance its diversified customer services amid growing demand from foreign visitors.

The retailer, a major duty-free shop operator, will acquire a full stake in Aito Kotsu on July 1 at an undisclosed price under a deal signed Wednesday. The company operates around 30 taxis in the city.

Laox, a unit of major Chinese electronics retailer Suning Appliance, plans to train taxi drivers to help enhance its services, including communicating in languages such as English and Chinese and providing pickup services for its retail stores.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Kyoto Prefecture in 2015 rose 72.3 percent from the year before to 3,216,190, according to the prefectural government.

Adding the taxi operator to its group is part of Laox’s recent strategy to strengthen its business aimed at foreign visitors. In March, Laox set up a new company to run a restaurant serving Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines in Chiba.