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Suning to shut half of its Laox store network in Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN – DECEMBER 1, 2016: People walk by Laox Duty Free store at Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan. Ginza is a legendary shopping area in Chuo Ward of Tokyo.

Japanese electronics retailer Laox is to shut half of its stores in Japan as its customer base dried up due to Covid-19 social-distancing.

Laox is managed by Chinese electronics giant Suning and the duty-free stores had been a popular location for Chinese tourists looking for Japanese appliances.

The significant drop in the number of foreign tourists, especially those from China, has forced the company to close 12 outlets in the country to cut costs and improve cash flow.

The 12 stores will include locations in Hokkaido, Kyushu, Tokyo and Okinawa.

Since February, the company has twice called on staff to apply for voluntary retirement to restructure due to the financial impact of the pandemic. Laox recorded a net loss of US$18.1 billion for the March quarter.

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