Despite the growing popularity of the country’s online retail industry, one thing remains constant: brick and mortar stores are here to stay. In fact, NEDA, the Department of Finance and Nielsen have reported that prospects for the retail industry remain positive, bolstered by economic growth and strong domestic demand. As consumers become aware of local and international trends, their purchase decisions have also evolved from simply transactional to more experiential. The positive industry outlook for Philippine retail prompted foreign retailers to partner up with local companies and establish their presence in the Philippines. One of the latest retailers that aims to elevate the Philippine shopping experience is Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Ltd., one of Japan’s largest department store groups.
The Japanese retailer partnered with premiere real estate developer Federal Land, Inc. to develop and operate the four-storey Mitsukoshi located at the latter’s integrated use project in Bonifacio Global City, Grand Central Park. “We are very positive about the rapidly growing market in the Philippines. The consumption and taste is definitely maturing and we believe that there is a chance for Mitsukoshi to be part of the Philippine retail landscape.” Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Ltd. Real Estate Development Headquarters Overseas Real Estate Promotion Dept General Manager Daisuke Kobayashi explains. “GT Capital Holdings, which is affiliated with many Japanese companies, has a diligent and collaborative corporate culture. This culture made us consider the Philippines and start a business with them.”
Guided by more than 300 years of experience, Isetan Mitsukoshi creates extraordinary retail environments for shoppers and retailers, as well as communities and investors. Its portfolio includes 24 department stores across Japan and 34 retail fronts on international shores, a few of them in major cities in Southeast Asia. Each of these stores gives consumers more than what the traditional shopping mall has to offer, purveying high-end merchandise from Japan and around the world—spanning all categories from clothing to food—in addition to presenting design, service, and attention to detail that are second to none.
The history of Mitsukoshi dates back to 1673, when it was founded by Takatoshi Mitsui. On the other hand, Isetan, founded by Tanji Kosuge, first opened its doors in 1886. Both companies were originally kimono drapers. The two companies merged in 2008 to form Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Ltd.
Three key stores in Tokyo are particularly popular in the Isetan Mitsukoshi portfolio—the Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store, the original Mitsukoshi flagship that is celebrated for being Japan’s first modern-day department store; the Mitsukoshi Ginza Store, a defining landmark in the chic Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo that disseminates the latest Japanese and international trends; and Isetan Shinjuku Main Store, acclaimed as the ideal retailer for those who wish to stay abreast of cutting-edge styles and modern fashion. “Customers who visit our stores in Japan are constantly looking for something new. We try to meet their expectations by doing customer-based activities such as holding events on each floor on a daily basis, and looking for items all over the world that would excite our customers,” Kobayashi explains. “Also, our stores are attractive for customers since they are convenient places where you can see both traditional Japanese styles and new trends in terms of fashion and food.”
The country’s first Mitsukoshi in BGC is set to become a world-class destination. It will be offering dining, leisure, and entertainment choices that will delight shoppers from different age groups, with distinct areas for families, young children, and Metro Manila’s most discerning shoppers.
An entire floor will be dedicated to Japanese food, housing a food hall, premium restaurants, and a supermarket that will sell high-quality ingredients. Another floor will be devoted to cosmetics and fragrances, as well as beauty-related services. In addition, the mall will also have a dedicated Kids and Nursery Room, where parents can care for their toddlers and babies in between rounds of shopping. “Our policy is to always satisfy the needs and wants of our customers,” Kobayashi says. “Through this, we are able to continuously evolve our stores.”
Mitsukoshi in the Philippines is a collaboration between Federal Land, Inc., Nomura Real Estate Co., Ltd, and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Ltd. It will anchor The Seasons Residences, a four-tower residential development that will introduce Japanese-style living to BGC. Mitsukoshi in the Philippines is slated to open in 2021.