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Isetan Mitsukoshi to have an online footprint

Aiming to have a digital strategy as the core of its business, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japanese department store company is preparing to launch an online store.

Isetan Mitsukoshi, in the first half of this year, observed sales of duty-free items rise about 3.7 times compared with the same period in 2013. It says Chinese customers account for about 70 per cent of duty-free sales, and show interest in Japanese products that are popular in Japan. This has led to it seeking to develop a following in China through its strategic partnership with Tmall Global.

It will offer safe, high-quality products, mainly Japanese, on Tmall Global; form an alliance between its Chinese and Japanese stores; and accumulate know-how on marketing in China.

Isetan Mitsukoshi will initially offer hundreds of products on the platform, ranging from fashion and cosmetics to foodstuffs and daily necessities, with plans to subsequently expand the scope of ifs offering. It will focus on its own brands and seasonal products, and gradually add Japanese brands. From next year it will stage special campaigns in collaboration with designers.There will also be after-sale services, including repairs, as well as pop-up stores through its network in China.

Alibaba Group, which runs Tmall – China’s largest B2C online shopping mall – and other eCommerce portals, had 434 million active users on China’s retail market in June.