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Men’s clothing retailer Aoyama Trading Co. will reduce floor space at about 400 stores, in the face of falling demand for business suits reflecting the spreading use of telework amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was learned Wednesday.

Aoyama Trading is set to close about 160 of its 850 stores by the end of March 2022. It will cut floor space at about 400 of the remaining stores by the end of March 2024, while introducing an online inventory management system, informed sources said.

The company plans to use vacant space created through the reduction as a new income source. It is considering inviting convenience stores, fitness gyms and other businesses to use such space as well as opening share offices, according to the sources.

The company will also work to strengthen sales of casual clothes, as well as tailored suits.

For the year through March, Aoyama Trading is bracing for a group net loss of ¥2.92 billion.

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