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Posted : 2015-07-30 15:38
Updated : 2015-07-30 15:43

Luxury brands make comeback in Japan

People walk on the sidewalk in Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district. / Yonhap

By Kim Bo-eun


Global luxury brands are reestablishing their presence in Japan, the country's economic daily, Nikkei, reported Thursday.

The number of luxury fashion house stores opening in Ginza, Tokyo, reached a historic high last year. The brands are opening sizable stores in major districts and remodeling existing ones.

The revival of luxury brands in Japan is attributed to falling demand in China, as the stock market continues to exhibit huge volatility.

According to commercial real estate services firm CBRE, 12 luxury brand stores opened in major districts, including Tokyo's Ginza, last year, the largest number since 1979.

Eight stores are slated to open this year, the company said.

Versace, which closed all three directly owned shops in Tokyo in 2009 due to poor sales, is opening a large-scale store in Ginza this fall.

Up until now, the Italian fashion house had only operated in department stores.

Harry Winston, the American jeweler and watchmaker that runs seven shops in Japan, will add another large store in Ginza in October, featuring the finest diamonds.

Italian fashion brand Max Mara is set to open a key store in Minato, Tokyo, in September.

France's Yves Saint Laurent will open its first Japanese store in Shibuya, Tokyo, this year.

The expansion is backed by recuperating sales of luxury brands.

French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH's operating profit in the first half of the year grew 15 percent to 2.95 billion euros from the same period a year earlier.

Sales in Japan in the second quarter jumped 34 percent, contributing to global operating profit growth.

Hermes International also saw sales in Japan in the first half rise 30 percent.

The fashion houses are targeting Japan's wealthy as well as Chinese tourists.

The Chinese take up 30 percent of the global luxury goods market, but overseas purchases account for more than half.

The number of Chinese who traveled to Japan in the first half doubled to 2.17 million from last year.

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