Printemps Ginza closes ahead of rebirth as Marronnier Gate Ginza
The Printemps Ginza department store in one of Tokyo’s premier shopping districts closed on Saturday after a 32-year history, following the expiration of its license with the Qatari-controlled French retailer that was formerly owned by Kering.
The building is to be refurbished with Printemps Ginza Co expanding its neighbouring commercial complex Marronnier Gate into the space and rebranding its as Marronnier Gate Ginza. A reopening is scheduled for March 15. However, some stores in the building will continue to operate, including a branch of Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo.
The store was extra busy on its final day with large numbers of the young working women who were its target market taking a last look before the closure at 16:40.
"With the three buildings together, we want to enhance our ability to deliver our message [with fashion and general merchandise stores and restaurants], to increase brand recognition of Marronnier Gate," Hiroshi Sasaoka, president of The Printemps Ginza Co said of the plans to transform the site.
Printemps Ginza had always traded on its Parisian links and its reputation for offering fashion goods that could not be found elsewhere in Ginza. But it diversified as it tried to adapt to a changing local consumer and attract more foreign tourists and went more downmarket. Its sales declined from a high of ¥25bn in 2005 to just ¥15.7bn a decade later.
The store had opened in 1984 after a deal between Printemps and Japanese supermarket retailer Daiei Inc was signed in 1980. However, Yomiuri Shimbun took a 70% stake in 2002 while the forerunner of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd acquired the rest as Daiei faced financial troubles and later became part of Aeon Co. Yomiuri Shimbun owns the building and Printemps Ginza has operated as a subsidiary of the group.
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