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The China Syndrome: Japan department stores missing tourist shoppers

Source: Bigstock
After a three-year wipeout, duty free sales are recovering, as tourism restrictions end. But the absence of travellers from mainland China is a difficult gap for retailers to fill. Isetan-Mitsukoshi is a storied department store chain with 15 units in Japan, including five in the Tokyo metropolitan area. One of them, the Isetan flagship in Shinjuku, boasts the highest sales of any department store in Japan. In 2019, it brought in 233.5 billion yen, or about $2.5 billion at today’s exchange rat