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January 15, 2009
Tokyo's Ginza district is well known for its premium department stores, carrying the finest products from Japan, Europe and America. Many stand next door to each other in a constant state of competition.
Two of these stores, Matsuya Ginza and Mitsukoshi are currently competing for the title of "number 1 department store." Both target the same type of customer - wealthy, sophisticated females.
Matsuya department store currently claims higher sales. The most popular floor in the store is basement level 1, where high class food retailers sell everything from fresh cured ham to cheese and vegetables of the finest quality.
The gourmet corner alone, catering mainly to women in their 20's and 30's, saw an 8% sales increase over 2007 figures from March to November, 2008.
The pride of Mitsukoshi, on the other hand, is first floor shop "New Quality Accessory" also catering to females. Working in lose cooperation with national and international designers many products on display in the shop are limited items available no where else. In addition, all products are custom designed to fit the general Japanese physique.
The manager of this store states that every day the sales are analyzed and new products are added and poor-sellers are replaced. Aside from keeping with tradition, the aim of the store is to promote new fashion and new lifestyles.
In addition, Mitsukoshi Ginza is planning an expansion. In fall 2010 construction will commence and 4000 sq. meters of new retail space will be added.
After the expansion, the competition between these two giant luxury retailers will inevitably continue.
January 15, 2009 Yomiuri Online