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Isetan Mitsukoshi to Double Number of Sales People Specifically for Wealthy Foreign Customers

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Isetan Shinjuku store

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. will double the number of salespeople specifically for wealthy foreign customers to at least 40 at its stores mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area to meet high demand, company President Toshiyuki Hosoya said in a recent interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The company will also launch a membership app for foreign customers by the end of fiscal 2024 to capitalize on strong demand from foreign visitors.

“We must provide the same quality of service to both Japanese customers and foreign tourists,” Hosoya said.

The sales of duty-free items at the company’s stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area increased 85.3% in November compared to the same month the previous year.

Before the pandemic, Chinese customers buying cosmetics made up a large portion of the sales, but now, it is mostly visitors from the United States and Southeast Asian nations buying mainly luxury brand items, Hosoya said.

The number of wealthy foreign clients utilizing salespeople specifically for that customer group has been growing since the company launched the service in 2022. However, even as 70% of sales at the flagship Isetan Shinjuku store come from people using an Isetan Mitsukoshi credit card or the Isetan Mitsukoshi app, applications for the company’s credit card and app registrations by foreign visitors have not been progressing compared to Japanese customers.

The company intends to launch a new app for foreign visitors that will be available in multiple languages.

Hosoya said Isetan Mitsukoshi aims to “realize two-way communication [with foreign customers] even after they return home.”

The flagship store is doing well and its sales for the fiscal year ending in March are expected to top ¥370 billion. Regarding the redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the store, Hosoya said that the building for the main store will be kept intact and will continue operating as usual.