Tokyu joins Japanese exit procession

Tokyu joins Japanese exit procession

The roadside entrance to Tokyu in MBK. (Photo by Pitsinee Jitpleecheep)
The roadside entrance to Tokyu in MBK. (Photo by Pitsinee Jitpleecheep)

Japan's Tokyu Department Store has become the latest Japanese retailer to pull out of Thailand.

The Tokyo-listed Tokyu group informed suppliers early this week that it plans to close its last department store branch at MBK shopping mall on Phaya Thai intersection in January next year.

An MBK executive who asked not to be named on Wednesday confirmed the company was recently informed by Tokyu's executive branch to call it quits from Thailand's 3.6-trillion-baht retail market.

The Tokyu department store, covering 12,000 square metres in the giant mall, is one of the top ten largest tenants at MBK.

A supplier from a leading fashion manufacturer said executives of the Tokyu department store called a meeting with his firm a few days ago to inform him the company would pull out of Thailand.

Retailers in Thailand, including Tokyu, have suffered a huge impact from the pandemic because of a sharp drop of customers.

Tokyu's departure will leave Takashimaya, which arrived in 2018, as the only Japanese department store operator left in Thailand.

In August, the decades-old Isetan department store shut down.

A retail guru who asked not to be named said Japanese retailers come up short in Thailand because they often bring their own store format and their own work culture.

"Their store decor is very simple and minimal," the source said. "There are fewer promotional campaigns from Japanese retailers, while Thai retailers have almost 365 days of promotions.''

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