To help customers enrich their lifestyles, we take initiatives that connect people with local communities. This includes the creation of opportunities to experience other people’s sentiments and sensibilities and the introduction of the local cultures, traditions, and specialty products of many regions.
Aiming for sustainable social and economic development, the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group engages in various activities as a member of the local community.
Through active communication with the people and communities around us, we consider from various points of view what we can do because our Group is centered on the department store business and put them into practice with the active participation of each of our employees. Specifically, we carry out activities to revitalize local communities, social contribution activities focused on fundraising, cultural and traditional projects, and next-generation development. Going forward, we will continue to promote a trusting relationship with local communities.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group is actively involved not only in the regions where its stores are located, but also in the regions with which it has ties through product procurement, and is working with government and industry to implement community-based initiatives.
We will continue to contribute to the region from new perspectives, without being bound by existing methods.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Hometown Tax system is an effort by the Group’s department stores across Japan to help revitalize local communities. Our department store buyers, who are familiar with local communities, cooperate with local businesses to introduce recommended specialties as gifts to send in return for tax donations. We believe that one of the ways we can contribute to regional revitalization is to share with the rest of Japan through the Hometown Tax system the splendors of local communities that only we know about, having learned of them through our interactions with customers and our relationships with business operators.
Regional department stores are in charge of liaison with local governments and businesses, creating a system that allows us to support local communities from a closer distance. In addition, the quality of gifts is controlled in accordance with department store standards, and by treating them as high-quality local products, we have created an environment that facilitates expansion into sales channels other than the Hometown Tax system. This enables business to earn continuous revenues that are not tied to the Hometown Tax system, by which we aim to help revitalize local industries.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Hometown Tax system provides opportunities to introduce the Hometown Tax system directly to customers not only through the portal site but also through events and in-store counters. We believe that the Group’s unique strength lies in the fact that our stores can be used as an opportunity for customers to start paying the hometown tax and to learn about local charms.
We will continue to expand our efforts with local communities and introduce our unique Hometown Tax system as a bridge connecting customers and local communities, which is a concept of our company.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group takes advantage of the highly public nature of its department stores to engage in social contribution activities such as fundraising as well as charity activities through product sales.
|Period||Title||Amount (thousand yen)||Participating stores||Donation recipients|
|Oct.||Pink Ribbon Campaign||1,201||Isetan Shinjuku Main Store, Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store, Mitsukoshi Ginza Store, Isetan Tachikawa Store, Isetan Urawa Store, Hakodate Marui Imai, Sendai Mitsukoshi, Niigata Isetan, Shizuoka Isetan, Takamatsu Mitsukoshi, Matsuyama Mitsukoshi, Iwataya Main Store, Iwataya Kurume Store, and Fukuoka Mitsukoshi||Japan Society of Breast Health, Pink Ribbon Kagawa, Pink Ribbon Kagawa Ehime, and NPO Happy Mamma|
|Apr.–Jun.||Animal Protection Accessories for Sale||623||Isetan Mitsukoshi Online Store||Christel Vie Ensemble|
|All year||COVID-19 Infection Response||5,113||All Group stores||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|MI Card Points Donated by Customers as 1 Point = 1 Yen||1,587||MI Card Home Page||Japanese Red Cross Society|
|802||MI Card Home Page||Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, National Institutes for Cultural Heritage, Morino Project, and Nagoya Tourism and Cultural Exchange Bureau|
|Donation of a Certain Amount of Money from the Profits of MI Tomonokai||669||Tomonokai counters at group stores||Chance for Children|
|853||Tomonokai counters at group stores||More Trees|
|Store outside Japan||Amount (thousand yen)|
|Isetan Tianjin / Tianjin Binhai New Area Isetan||193|
*Converted into yen at the rate as of the end of May 2022.
The Isetan Scholarship Foundation, which was established in 1963 by the founding family of the former Isetan Ltd. and later recognized as a public interest corporation, administers a scholarship program.
It awards scholarships to students who are enrolled in commerce, economics, or business-related faculties at seven universities in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures, who are able to study, and who have excellent academic ability but are unable to study for financial reasons.
Mitsukoshi, Isetan, Iwataya, and Marui Imai began as kimono stores and kimono merchants. Looking back on their history, it is clear that they contributed to the development of kimono culture and industry. For example, during the Meiji period (1868–1912), Mitsui Gofukuten (the predecessor of Mitsukoshi), with its “Genroku pattern,” and Isetan, with its “Goshuden pattern,” improved themselves through competition with each other.
Mitsukoshi also established an art department in 1907. By introducing works of art, which at the time the public had limited access to, the department store provided an opportunity for anyone to appreciate and enjoy artworks and to purchase them with confidence, thereby promoting culture and art.
In addition to traditional and cultural activities in kimono and fine arts, which continue to this day, we also collaborate with national museums and art galleries, and introduce culture and promote local communities through events such as product and foreign-themed exhibitions.
In recent years, the share of domestically produced silk is said to be less than 1% of the amount of silk consumed in Japan. Therefore, the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group, which originated as kimono stores, spent more than 10 years developing pure Japanese silk that is produced entirely in Japan, from sericulture to spinning and weaving, with the aim of maintaining silk farmers and Japanese-produced silk.
Responding to customers’ requests for kimono that do not wrinkle easily and their feedback that “kimono in the old days were more supple and had a better texture,” we started by improving the silkworm breed. The silk produced from threads that are 80% finer than those made by normal silkworms was named Sanko* in the hope that the silk farmers, the silk spinners/weavers/retailers, and the customers will all continue to sparkle like silk. The fabric, characterized by its elegant luster, supple texture, and excellent coloring, is used in a wide variety of kimono, from solid-colored kimono to multi-colored furisode (long-sleeved kimono). In order to pass on Japan’s silk culture to the next generation, we aim to utilize the fabric for a wide range of items, including Western-style clothing.
*The word Sanko is written with characters that mean three and sparkle.
Supporting and nurturing the next generation is essential for promoting and passing on tradition and culture. Below, we introduce how we support and nurture members of the next generation, who will be the bearers of tradition and culture in the future.
Japanese manga, animation, films, and video games attract attention worldwide. These are defined as “media arts” in Article 9 of Japan’s Basic Act on Culture and the Arts.
The Isetan Mitsukoshi Group has launched Isetan Mitsukoshi Media Arts, building on our experience in promoting culture and supporting artists. We collaborate with outstanding works and creators of media arts to organize a variety of cultural events.
In August 2022, One Piece Film: Red × Isetan, a collaboration with the movie One Piece Film: Red, was held at the Isetan Shinjuku Main Store, on the Isetan Mitsukoshi online store, and on the online gift site MOO:D Mark by ISETAN. Going forward, we will continue to introduce attractive media arts and original events.
Digitalization has progressed rapidly over the past few years. In the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group, in addition to digital businesses such as ISETAN DOOR, a regular food delivery service, and meeco, a cosmetics e-commerce site, our online communication is also evolving.
Below, we introduce Remote Customer Services, which connect local stores with stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area online, and REV WORLDS, a communication application that uses the Metaverse.
In November 2020, we launched the Mitsukoshi Isetan Remote Shopping Application, which enables customers, wherever they are, to purchase products from our brick-and-mortar stores while receiving the same hospitality and customer services from our stylists (store clerks) that they would receive in-store. MIRS is the Group’s proprietary application, and almost all products sold at the Isetan Shinjuku Main Store and the Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store and Ginza Store can be purchased using a smartphone. Customer service is a core-competence of department stores, and because it can help alleviate customer anxieties about not being able to touch and feel products, we believe it will give us an advantage in online shopping as well.
In November 2021, we launched an online service providing an experience similar to shopping in-store with service by stylists. This has enabled us to offer products such as those on limited-time offers and rare, small-lot items that previously required customers to come to actual stores to see. We can now provide services universally to customers who are busy or have difficulty going out.
MIRS will continue to evolve to provide smooth online shopping experiences.
The Matsuyama Mitsukoshi located in Ehime Prefecture, provides customers in their digital salon, with products that are difficult to offer in-store, by connecting with the Mitsukoshi Nihombashi Main Store and Ginza Store, both in Tokyo.
The sales floor area of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi was significantly reduced when the store was renewed, but the digital salon places customer orders to other stores for products that are unavailable in-store, thus serving to fulfill a broad range of requests and to find solutions to customer inquiries.
In an era when customers can shop online on their own, we believe the reason for requesting real shopping support is the sense of ease of knowing the person serving you from the store you frequent. Our motto is to be as closely attuned as possible to customers when supporting them.
In addition to offering products requested by customers, the digital salon regularly hosts pop-up stores of luxury brand items not available in-store, providing remote customer service while customers view the actual products.
The initiative to connect Tokyo Metropolitan area stores with stores in other areas has also been launched at THE SALON at Niigata Isetan, and is planned to be expanded hereafter. Niigata Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. has also connected Niigata Isetan with satellite stores by remote means.
REV WORLDS is a Metaverse-based virtual city communication app offered by the Isetan Mitsukoshi Group.
Users can operate their avatars to stroll around a virtual city in the image of Shinjuku, and enjoy shopping and contents at the virtual Isetan Shinjuku Main Store and corporate booths. Users can enjoy communication with family, friends, and other users using the voice and chat features, and experience human connections while encountering unexpected products and new opportunities on the street and in the store.
Since its launch, the store has hosted a variety of corporate and brand store openings and events. It has also expanded its features to allow users to enjoy a more personalized lifestyle in the virtual space, such as by adding more avatar dress-up items and launching the My Room feature, which allows users to coordinate their rooms to their liking.
We plan to improve our services by attracting content from other companies to provide a richer lifestyle, both in real and digital life.