Airport-style duty-free stores newly opening in the Tokyo area

On January 27th, Japan’s first-ever (outside Okinawa) airport-style duty-free store “Japan Duty Free GINZA” opened on the 8th floor of Mitsukoshi Ginza. The store was established by JAPAN DUTY FREE Fa-So-La Isetan Mitsukoshi, a joint venture by Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. and NAA Retailing Corporation. The total sales area is approximately 3,300 square meters and offers a wide variety from luxury brands, cosmetics and digital products to traditional Japanese craftwork.

Airport-style duty-free stores exempt shoppers from custom duties, and consumption, liquor and tobacco taxes. Unlike the tax-free shops where purchases can be made free of consumption tax, the Ginza store offers the same services as the duty-free stores found in international airports. After a purchase is made, the merchandise is handed over at either the Narita or Haneda airport duty-free pick-up counters. Tourists and businessmen or women with a Japanese passport are also eligible to make purchases, and the store offers a wider variety than the tax-free shops. The massive lineup of products offered at Japan Duty Free GINZA has taken fashion industry insiders by surprise. For the first time ever, Boucheron is offered to duty-free customers, and Valentino and Saint Laurent have made their Japan debut to duty-free stores. Tiffany, Balenciaga, Gucci and Bottega Veneta are other brands also available in-store. In addition, overseas luxury brand watches will become available through Time Valley opening around March 9th.

Following right after on March 31st, another airport-style duty-free store “Lotte Duty Free GINZA” will open on the 8th and 9th floors of the Tokyu Plaza Ginza shopping facility located by the Ginza Sukiyabashi intersection. Within the store, which anticipates to become the largest airport-style duty-free store in Tokyo, an overseas luxury brand shop and a watch shop will occupy the 8th floor. On the 9th floor, cosmetics, jewelry and fragrances will be available, in addition to other household goods. Apart from Korea, Lotte Duty Free operates overseas in places such as Guam airport, Kansai airport and Jakarta airport, and the company has a good understanding of the Japanese/Asian consumer. The retailer also promotes online duty-free shopping where shoppers can pick-up their merchandise at the airport or seaport.

In addition, Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. and BIC CAMERA Inc. have announced a joint venture agreement to promote the duty-free sales of home appliances and consider other possible joint venture businesses at Haneda airport and other airports in Japan and overseas. Further details have not yet been announced, but with their expertise on duty-free businesses and product procurement capabilities, the management resources between the two companies are extensive. Moving forward, the company understands the importance of expanding domestic consumption by inbound visitors. At the same time, foreign expansion will also be considered, with the focus on airport-type home appliance specialty stores.