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Boxed in by a shrinking domestic market and consumer preferences shifting toward online shopping, the only way for Japanese department stores — as well as the broader retail sector — to survive is to get a slice of fast growing markets overseas, especially in neighboring countries.

Takashimaya, one of Japan’s major department stores, may be a case in point: Its seven-floor store, opening in Bangkok on Saturday, will potentially serve as an example of how brick-and-mortar shopping locations can survive by joining together with non-retail ventures in fast-growing markets.

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