• Jiji

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Department store operator Takashimaya Co. on Monday reopened most of the sales floors at its flagship outlet in the Nihonbashi district in Tokyo after being shut down for about 1½ months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Only the food area remained open.

On Monday morning, about 20 customers wearing face masks lined up in front of the entrance while keeping a distance from each other. Most headed straight to the food area, leaving the clothing sales floors nearly empty.

“I’m grateful that sales of shoes and clothes have resumed, but I think it’s still too early,” a company worker in her 30s said.

Tokyo is among the eight prefectures remaining subject to the government’s declared state of emergency, which was lifted in the 39 other prefectures last Thursday. But Takashimaya decided to restart operations at the Nihonbashi outlet in order to meet customer requests and maintain jobs.

For the time being, the store will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., shorter than usual, and the sales areas for jewelry, artworks and kimono will remain shut.

Takashimaya has started reopening its outlets around Japan in stages. As of now, its two stores in the city of Kyoto are the only outlets where all sections except the food areas are still shut down.

Among its industry peers, J. Front Retailing Co., which runs the Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores, plans to restart operations on all sales floors at its Daimaru outlet in the Shinsaibashisuji district in the city of Osaka on weekdays starting Tuesday.

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