JAPAN. Takashimaya Duty Free Shop, Tokyo’s latest downtown duty free store, is set to open in late April in around 2,800sq m of space. The precise opening date will be confirmed soon by Japanese Customs.

The 2,800sq m retail operation is a joint venture between department store company Takashimaya, ANA Trading and Hotel Shilla.

As we reported previously, it will be located on the 11th floor of the new Takashimaya Times Square development, which lies in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. The other major downtown duty free projects to open in Tokyo – including Japan Duty Free Ginza and Lotte Duty Free Tokyo Ginza– are located near each other in the Ginza district.

Takashimaya Duty Free Shop is directly connected to Shinjuku Station and to Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, allowing easy access to Tokyo’s airports and to the rail network,

Takashimaya Times Square is an ambitious development that also includes a Takashimaya department store, leading brands such as Uniqlo, Tokyo Hands and Nitori, alongside a range of restaurants and a spa avenue.

Commenting to The Moodie Davitt Report about the planned opening, a spokesperson for The Shilla Duty Free (which has a 20% stake in the JV) confirmed that Japanese cosmetics (J-Cos) would be a key focus of the store. The category is performing strongly across Japanese duty free today (as are other Japanese products, confectionery in particular).

Shilla said: “Key attributes of Takashimaya Duty Free will be an extensive line-up of J-Cos and a tax free zone for various brands. Takashimaya Duty Free is expected to have the highest number of J-Cos brands among Japanese downtown duty free stores. In addition, the tax free zone will be filled with various Japanese local brands [including] affordable cosmetics, food/confectionery, souvenirs, fashion and electronics.”

Takashimaya 2

How Takashimaya is promoting the forthcoming big opening, with emphasis on the strong Japanese cosmetics offer

Duty free goods purchased at the downtown duty free stores must be collected at Narita or Haneda airports, at special pick-up counters. In contrast, tax free purchases of Japanese-made items can be collected in the downtown stores.

“With a strong tax free zone, Takashimaya Duty Free can offer more immediate-collectable items and can also appeal to travellers departing from other airports in Japan,” noted Shilla.

On the location and appeal of this new store, Shilla added: “Shinjuku, Tokyo is one of the most popular places for foreign FITs [to visit]. Chinese FITs, the fastest-growing segment in global travel industry, are the main target.

“Takashimaya Duty Free is located right next to the JR metro station and bus terminal so FITs can enjoy easy access to the store. Due to this advantage, Takashimaya Department Store’s tax refund sales are increasing by double-digit numbers while the tax-refund sales of other department stores are decreasing. Takashimaya Duty Free, located in the department store, will be fully using the competitiveness of the location to attract foreign FITs, especially Chinese.

Chinese group tours will also be a target audience. “Takashimaya Duty Free will establish infrastructure for group tour customers, including bus parking spaces, and will develop various offers to appeal to Chinese group tours.”

A&S Takashimaya Duty Free Company Limited was established on 1 June 2016. Takashimaya holds a 60% stake, with ANA Trading and Shilla each with 20%.

*NOTE: We’ll bring you more soon on Takashimaya Duty Free Shop’s opening and the JV’s ambitions for the business.

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