Japanese luxury department store to launch its first mall in Vietnam

By Thanh Thanh, Dam Tuan   July 30, 2016 | 10:57 am GMT+7

Five-star Japanese shopping mall Takashimaya will be unveiled next month in the center of Saigon.

Takashimaya, Japan’s famous department store chain, will open its first mall in Vietnam this quarter in Ho Chi Minh City's central business district.

The launch marks the group’s business expansion into international markets as it plans to open new malls in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, according to Bloomberg.

With total investment of $25 million by Takashimaya and Singapore's Keppel Land, the mall will have five floors on an area of 15,000 square meters in Saigon Centre Tower, District 1.

The Japanese department store will be the latest addition to Vietnam’s luxury retail market, bringing a high-end shopping experience to the south of the country with the first-time arrival of deluxe brands of cosmetics, jewelries and fashion.

Besides international and Japanese-style brand names, Takashimaya in Vietnam will also offer services like beauty care, spa, restaurants and a separate area for events, exhibitions and cultural programs.

Takashimaya will be located in Saigon Centre Tower, Ho Chi Minh Citys central business district. Photo by Ngo Trung, CC.20

Takashimaya will be located in Saigon Centre Tower, Ho Chi Minh City's central business district. Photo by Ngo Trung, CC-BY-3.0

Takashimaya alone has invested about JPY5 billion ($48 million) in the Southeast nation since 2012, including in the new store and other real estate projects, Bloomberg reported Tokyo-based spokesman Hironobu Hanai as saying. With a young population and high growth rate, Vietnam has become an attractive investment destination among Japanese retailers like Aeon, Takashimaya and 7-Eleven, which is due to be launched here next year.

Other retail giants in the region are also eyeing investment in Vietnam. Korea’s Lotte Group targets to open 60 supermarkets in the Southeast Asian nation by 2020, while Thailand’s TCC Holding Co. acquired Metro AG’s Cash & Carry in Vietnam for $720 million.

The country has continually been among the world’s top 30 most attractive emerging retail markets since 2008, according to the Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) published annually by the U.S. based AT Kearney.

Vietnam’s retail market was estimated at $102 billion in 2015. There are currently more than 700 supermarkets and 132 trade centers, of which 22 are 100 percent foreign-owned, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Takashimaya is a well-known first class Japanese retail brand with the 180-year history, targeting middle class and wealthy customers. The Tokyo based retailer already has international stores in China and Singapore.

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