'Cool Japan' comes to Malaysia
CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer
KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysians will have the chance to experience "Cool Japan", an initiative to promote creative industries, when Isetan Mitsukoshi opens its first overseas concept store in the capital next month.
The six-story Isetan Cool Japan Department Store Kuala Lumpur covers 11,000 sq. meters with outlets for food, fashion, arts, furniture, and fine dining. Located in Bukit Bintang, an area in the city center popular with tourists, it occupies the site of Isetan's first department store in Malaysia, which was opened in 1990.
"We chose to open in Malaysia as it is a market with influence within ASEAN and the Middle East," Isetan's Nobuharu Yutani told reporters. The premium retail company is targeting the country's growing number of high-income earners.
Among the usual luxury apparel, lacquerware, and watches are Mirai Suenaga dolls produced by Danny Choo, a Malaysian based in Japan.
The new store has specially trained promoters from Japan, Team Nadeshiko, to help local staff. Uniforms are by Hiromichi Ochiai, who is known for the Facetasm label.
The concept store is 51:49 owned by Isetan of Japan, the local unit of Isetan Mitsukoshi and Cool Japan Fund, with paid-up capital of 2 billion yen ($19.7 million). Isetan department stores date back a century and there are now 31 outlets in seven countries, four of which are in Malaysia.