Three years after the Japanese luxury department store chain announced plans to enter Saigon, Takashimaya Vietnam opened its doors at the weekend.
As the anchor tenant of downtown Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Center, Takashimaya takes up a whole five floors making it by far the nation’s largest department store – and likely its most expensive.
The first impression that the department store makes is its spacious interior. Concessions to brands have been arranged to leave unusually wide aisles – ensuring the store was comfortable even on its crowded grand opening day.
The central atrium of the expanded Saigon Center featuring Takashimaya’s first Vietnam store.
The first floor of Takashimaya houses the food maison, most of which is filled by Japanese F&B brands such as Minamoto Kitchoan, Gyumaru, Azabu Sabo, Yamazaki and Suizan. Some tea brands make their way into that space, including Vietnam’s own Phuc Long, Singapore’s TWG tea, and B Tea.
Targeting the high class consumers in Saigon and Vietnam, Takashimaya has chosen carefully the brands to appear in their stores, including luxury brands coming to Vietnam the first time, complemented by the high level of customer service Takashimaya offers elsewhere in the world.
The second floor is exclusively for ladies with international fashion names such as Banana Republic, Bebe, Bonia, Braun Buffel; footwear from Clarks, Geox, Cole Haan; bags from Carlo Rino, Cromia; and Furla with its first flagship in Vietnam after years being distributed by Ha Vang company.
The rest space is occupied by cosmetics brands, including Korean labels Skinfood, which marked the store’s opening with a special event ‘Makeup Style for Your Summer’.
“We offer free makeup and manicure for our customers for two days. Besides, when they buy our products, they will receive a gift set,” said Kieu Oanh, senior PR & marketing executive of Skinfood Vietnam.
For women, the excitement continues on the next level of Takashimaya: a heaven of luxury cosmetics, jewelleries and fragrances. Christian Dior is prominently located at the front, with rival Lancome opposite. Lancome also opened its own ‘Lancome Cafe’ – a style boutique, where women can take free makeup lessons and receive gifts for the best ‘artwork’.
Other brands include Bobbi Brown, Shiseido, Estee Lauder, Swarovski, and Mac.
The next floor features international fashion and cosmetics brands including Diane von Furstenberg, Hugo, Versace and Paul & Shark, along with restaurants and cafes. This level has a rest space with some chairs for visitors arranged around a huge grey pillar.
Local luxury multibrand retailer Runway comes back after closing its store in Vincom Center in March. As usual, it has a large space in the center, gathering all women’s favourite brands with modern and elegant designs.
The new Runway store replaces the local multi-label luxury brand’s previous space at Vincom.
Another highlight is the ready-to-launch space of women handbags Kate Spade New York. That outlet is expected to open soon.
Coming soon: Kate Spade.
The last level of Takashimaya is filled with men’s fashion and casual wear and children’s clothing and toys. Tommy Hilfiger has the largest outlet here, opposite the first authentic Fred Perry store.
With more than 180 years of experience and US$290 million investment, it is expected that Takashimaya will not only take Vietnamese shopping to a higher level but also mark a turning point for economic development and quality retail in Vietnam.