One of Japan's biggest, oldest and most famous department stores has closed its flagship store in Paris.
Mitsukoshi Ltd. on Thursday closed its flagship department store in Paris, ending 39 years of operation in the face of declining Japanese visitor numbers. As the first Japanese department store in Europe, Mitsukoshi's Paris outlet made its debut in 1971 and racked up profits by featuring Japanese language services and customer assistance in duty free procedures. After recording some 5.7 billion yen of annual sales in 1996, the store's business was severely hit following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which resulted in many people refraining from traveling.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article showing China was about to become #2 and Japan drops to #3... Is this is just another sign of Japan's slow drift into irrelavence?