- The Association of Japanese Geographers
- 地理学評論 (ISSN:13479555)
- vol.78, no.12, pp.769-782, 2005-10-01 (Released:2008-12-25)
The purpose of this study is to inspect Locational strategies of Japanese department stores based on a geographical point of view. The study areas are the Tokyo, Keihanshin, and Nagoya metropolitan areas. Recently, many department stores have gone into bankruptcy. Restructuring of new locational strategy is a matter of great urgency. In this paper, I analyze department store's existent locational strategies based on the store's locational development, and the relationship between store's locations and characteristics. Then, I consider the strategic change in the post-property-crisis. Before the rapid economy growth era (the early 1960s), department stores were located only in downtown centers. Their merchandising was specialized only in high-quality shopping goods and they obtained high status as culture and amusement facilities. During the 1960s-1990s, department store's locational strategies could be summarized as sub-urbanization and diversification. In 2000, there were 176 stores in the three metropolitan areas. These stores could be classified into three types based on qualitative aspects; stores specialized in shopping goods, stores relatively specialized in convenience goods, and SC (Shopping Center) type stores. These stores' locations could be defined clearly by day time/night time population ratio and the distance from metropolitan centers. However, recent recession has forced restructuring on retailers. Consequently, unprofitable stores are likely to decline rapidly. 34 stores have been closed during 2000-2004. Many of them are SC and convenience goods specialized stores located in suburban areas. Department stores tend to be integrated into the stores located in downtown centers and characterized by high-quality shopping goods and services.