Closed 4 stores including Sogo and Seibu Tokushima

Sogo/Seibu Tokushima and other 4 stores closed 16:26 on August 31st, a department store owned by a major retailer Seven & i Holdings, Sogo/Seibu will close 4 stores nationwide including Tokushima in 31 days, the last day On the 31st, there are many shoppers who are willing to close their stores. Of these, the Sogo Tokushima store in Tokushima City opened in 1983 as a feature of the redevelopment project in front of the station, and peak sales in the fiscal year ended February 1993 were 44.4 billion yen.

However, sales were slumped due to being pushed by commercial facilities that expanded into the suburbs and the store closed, and on the last day of 31st, close to 400 customers were packed before the opening at 10 am, so the opening time was 15 I made it faster. The final sale was held in the store, and visitors were shopping around the store for the products they were looking for.

With the closing of Sogo, Tokushima Prefecture will be the prefecture with no department stores next to Yamagata Prefecture.

A woman in her 50s from Tokushima City said, “It’s so sad that there are no more fun places. Today I want to go shopping on all floors.” On the 31st, the stores in Otsu, Nishi-ku, Kobe, and Okazaki, Aichi, which are operated by Sogo and Seibu, will also be closed. You will disappear.

Fukushima Nakago is also the last business day

On the other hand, Nakago, a well-established department store in Fukushima City, celebrated the last business day of the 31st and has ended the history of 146 years.

On the 31st, many shoppers lined up in front of the Nakago Fukushima store before the store opened, and at 10am the clerk opened the door and entered the store one after another.

Nakago was founded in 1874 as a kimono shop in Aramachi, Fukushima City, and after changing to a department store, he moved to the front of Fukushima Station in 1973 and continued to operate.

However, sales declined due to population decline and competition with other commercial facilities, and the store in Aizuwakamatsu was closed in 2010, and the Fukushima store was also closed due to the redevelopment plan in front of the station.

In front of the store, there is a countboard that shows the number of days until the end of business, and some people took photos to spare their remnants.

Nakago closed at 7:00 pm on the 31st, opened the curtain on the history of 146 years, and the company is going through the procedure of liquidation.

An 86-year-old woman in the city said, “I used to come to buy clothes since the store opened. I’m sorry, but I want to tell all employees that it has been difficult for many years.”

The background of the difficult department store

The department store industry is exposed to severe competition from large-scale commercial facilities and online shopping in addition to population decline, and the challenge is how to recover profitability while being affected by the new coronavirus.

According to the Japan Department Stores Association, the sales of department stores nationwide for the past year were 5,754.7 billion yen, a decrease of more than 40% from the peak of 9,713.0 billion yen in 1991.

This is due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, which was the main customer segment of department stores, and the push by shopping malls and online shopping in the suburbs.

In particular, the predicament of local stores, where the population is declining rapidly, is noticeable.

According to the Japan Department Stores Association, the number of department stores nationwide was 203 as of the end of last month, which is 26 stores compared to the same period three years ago and 60 stores 10 years ago.

On the other hand, in urban stores, sales of cosmetics and luxury brands for foreign tourists were strong, supporting the earnings of each company.

However, due to the new coronavirus, sales to foreign tourists last month fell by 88.7% compared to the same month last year.

With the business environment rapidly deteriorating not only in rural areas but also in urban areas, department store companies are being forced to reassess their business operations, such as further closing stores with reduced profitability.