Traditional department stores continue to survive in Japan and even in some cases, to prosper. Whereas elsewhere the department store industry is limited to some specific examples such as Harrods, Gallerie Lafayette or Bloomingdales, there are still some 350 department stores across Japan, mostly companies operating just one store, along with a dozen or so major chains. The oldest trace their roots back to the seventeenth century when the merchant class began to emerge and intermarry with the samurai class. Today, the majority of department stores are minor players in the overall retail industry, mostly being small, regional stores operating as independent retail businesses, but the larger chains rank among Japan’s largest retailers. They include the most prestigious retail outlets in Japan and are vital for apparel and cosmetics sales. They are also important outlets for premium foods.
KeywordsDepartment Store Brand Store Railway Company Large Chain Regional Store
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