Mitsukoshi reopens Nihonbashi store in Tokyo after Kengo Kuma revamp


Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. reopened its flagship Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store Wednesday, after a renovation that includes a new first floor designed by architect Kengo Kuma.

The department store operator drastically changed the interior of the first floor of the store’s main building in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, which mainly sells cosmetics and miscellaneous goods.

A customer lounge was newly installed in the building’s fifth floor.

The company will boost its customer service by assigning about 90 employees to work as concierges, helping customers to navigate the building’s many floors and brands.

“(The store) was renovated for the first time in some 30 years,” Isetan Mitsukoshi President Toshihiko Sugie said at a ceremony held before its opening. “We’d like to create an image of hospitality provided by a department store of the future.”

Isetan Mitsukoshi started renovation work at the Nihonbashi store in 2017.

It hopes to finish the second stage of remodeling by the end of fiscal 2019. Through the workover it plans to expand the lineup of luxury brand items such as wristwatches and jewelry, which are popular among foreign tourists visiting Japan, in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.