Takashimaya Tokyo going duty free

Eyeing the growing tourist market, Japanese department store Takashimaya is going duty free with an airport-style store in Tokyo.

Not only sales tax, but also alcohol and tobacco duties will be waived under the venture, in which the Takashimaya Tokyo store is partnering with ANA Holdings and South Korea’s Samsung Group.

Takashimaya will contribute more than half of the capital for the outlet, establishing an oversight company with All Nippon Airways Trading and Hotel Shilla of the Samsung Group. Scheduled to open next spring, the store will probably be on an upper floor of Takashimaya’s Shinjuku branch. Depending on its performance, the partners may roll out further stores.

Shoppers will be able to buy items in-store to pick up later at Haneda or Narita airport after completing departure procedures.

Hotel Shilla, which runs hotels and duty-free stores, generated sales of 3.25 trillion won (US$2.73 billion) last year. The company is second only to the Lotte Group for duty-free stores in South Korea, and its international presence includes Singapore’s Changi Airport.

ANA Trading runs airport souvenir shops.

Visitors to Japan increased 47 per cent last year to 19.73 million, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. More people are travelling there multiple times a year and visiting localities outside greater Tokyo via train and bus. A major bus terminal is slated for completion in Shinjuku this spring.

Takashimaya rival Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings opened a similar duty-free store in Tokyo’s Ginza area in late January.

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