Umeda Hankyu Department Store to be Rebuilt

From Asahi:

Construction to begin August 16

Hankyu Dept. Stores announced that it would begin construction on the rebuilding of its flagship store in Umeda (Osaka Kita-ku) on August 16. Beginning in the South part, they will complete the first stage of construction by Fall 2007. Since the store will lose 30% of their its total sales floor space during construction, Hankyu plans a broad reduction in its living room and food merchandise while maintaining the present level (90%) of floor space for its main product, clothing. It is a strategy aimed at minimizing the effects of construction while trying to attract customers in the fiercely competitive North District of Osaka.

The reconstruction will come in two stages, to be fully completed in the Spring of 2011. After completion, the new building will be an composite commercial building (41 stories above ground, 2 below, with the department store taking up 13 of them). Sales space will expand from the current 61,000 square meters to approximately 84,000 square meters to become the largest department store in Japan.

However, the company predicts that it will not be able to avoid a loss in revenue during the construction, placing an estimate of 25% from current sales numbers (192,000,000,000 yen in March 2005). Such concerns drove the decision to change the sales structure in an effort to increase sales as much as possible.

After beginning construction, Hankyu will tear down an event area in the north side of the store and build a new 5-story building in order to save floor space. They will also install a temporary sales area above the concourse of Hanyku Umeda station.

This will create 5,000 square meters of floor space, securing space for women’s clothing, dry goods, and cosmetics. They will also eliminate some of their restaurants and a rooftop playground.

Further measures to counter revenue losses will be needed when the second stage of construction begins in Autumn 2007. By 2014, Hankyu plans to open 4 suburban department stores and 6 supermarkets a year in an effort to transform their revenue structure.

In “Kita” the North District that includes the JR Osaka Station area, rival department store Daimaru is also planning an expansion, and Mikoshi, which closed in May, has plans to open a store in a new building on the north side of Osaka station. While enduring a rebuilding period, Hankyu is attempting to grow in scale and “maintain its position as number one in the region.”

Comment: I’ll miss the old Osaka, but maybe the new one will look even cooler somehow.

4 thoughts on “Umeda Hankyu Department Store to be Rebuilt”

  1. This is the most peculiar posting I’ve ever seen on this blog. The remodeling of a store, even an old or locally famous store, hardly seems worthy of mention.

  2. Let me explain. The Hankyu Umeda station in Osaka holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where I used to meet everyone before nights on the town, and the concourse between JR and Hankyu stations was part of my commute. The remodeling of the adjacent department store will significantly change the look of the station, especially the concourse, and to me (and some of the core readers of this blog) that is big news.

    Posts labeled “Jappanica” are simply translations of news articles from Japanese web sites. While I try, as a rule, to translate stories that aren’t really getting covered in the English language, occasionally you will see random articles that caught my eye and aren’t intended for anyone’s amusement but my own. I make my living translating from Japanese to English, so translating material on various topics lets me practice and keep up my vocabulary and speed. Hope that clears things up a bit.

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