Isetan Thailand has converted its fifth floor into a food concept called Washoku Gallery, which opens today (December 18).
Washoku Gallery will, in keeping with the department store’s heritage, feature food products imported from Japan. Japanese food and culture are broadly liked by Thailand’s urban consumers and Isetan wants to tap into the growing demand.
The Isetan Thailand department store is located in CentralWorld in downtown Bangkok.
“The Thai retail market has undergone drastic changes since Isetan Thailand opened in 1992, and numerous Thai customers have said they want to see the same things at the store as at Isetan stores in Japan,” a spokesman for the retailer said in a statement.
“At Washoku Gallery, Isetan offers goods and services so that customers can enjoy Japanese culinary culture. Isetan will also minimise price differences between products in Japan and those in Thailand as much as possible so that as many customers as possible can feel ‘this is Japan’.”
Most of the products on sale have been introduced to Thailand for the first time. There are also nine Japanese-Western food brands, four Japanese bakery brands, 10 Western bakery brands and a Japanese Food Court with seven Japanese food brands.
Isetan will work with Japanese food companies to bring experts to Bangkok to demonstrate their artisanship to customers. Tea masters will visit the store when newly harvested tea leaves are put on sale, and sake-brewing masters from rice wine breweries will be invited from all over Japan. Sashimi experts will slice freshly imported fish from Japan as customers look on.
Said Isetan Thailand president Takaki Akune: “The newly remodelled floor, Washoku Gallery, is unique – only a Japanese department store can offer [it]. I’m confident that at Washoku Gallery, Thai customers will feel a sense of satisfaction they have never experienced. ‘This is Japan’ is a concept that Mitsukoshi Isetan Holdings recognises as part of its corporate strategy.
“The whole group uses this concept to present the beauty of Japan to the world, from products to sales and services,” he said.