Tokyo 2020 goods will become a little harder to get soon as organizers prepare to close a handful of shops in the next few weeks.
Five Tokyo 2020 official goods shops will be closed at the end of May or in early June Tokyo 2020 Spokesperson Masa Takaya said during an online news conference on Tuesday. Additionally, another store will scale back its sales at the end of the month. There were 89 shops currently in operation around Japan as of the end of April.
In Tokyo, stores in Ginza, Shinjuku East and Ueno are due to close May 31. The Shinsaibashi store in Osaka will close the same day. The Yokohama East store will close on June 2. There will also be a partial closing in Osaka, with one of two locations in the Abeno Harukas building closing.
"This is the outcome of the discussions with those shop owners, and those shop owners in the end made the final decision to close these official goods shops," Takaya said.
Takaya would not specify whether, or when, these stores would reopen.
"These are the shops which have no concrete schedule whether or not (they) could be reopened in the near future," he said. "Obviously, this is something both the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and those shop owners have to keep discussing.
"In that respect, we just cannot specify the possibility of (the) reopening of these shops."
In addition to the stores that will be closing, many others are also being affected by the pandemic. Some are already closed temporarily or operating under shortened hours, based on their location and the rules of the buildings they operate from.
Many businesses and shopping complexes around Japan have closed in response to the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in April. The order, which was due to be lifted May 6, has been extended until May 31.
"Obviously once those commercial facilities or commercial complexes reopen, we can expect that these Tokyo 2020 official goods (shops) can be reopened and in accordance with the operations of these commercial facilities," Takaya said.
"But once again, precisely speaking, those (five) shops are the ones which have no concrete decision (regarding) whether or not they can be reopened in the future at this stage."
The closures, Takaya said, won't alter the organizing committee's stance toward sales of official goods.
"Obviously licensing goods is one of the important engagement tools to engage the general public as much as possible," Takaya said. "In that respect, we will obviously keep delivering these shops through appropriate channels. But in the meantime, we will also have to take greater care of the ongoing situation around the spread of the novel coronavirus."
Takaya said the organizing committee has included ¥14 billion of revenue from sales of licensed goods in its budget since the early days of the Olympic bid. He wouldn't, however, reveal the specific sales targets for the stores that will be closing.
Despite the current situation, Takaya said the organizing committee is not altering its plans for licensed goods.
"We haven't changed our approach," Takaya said. "We haven't changed our target. We will stick with the original target set previously. We are committed to achieving sales targets previously set and keep operating our licensing products sales."