Kuala Lumpur to Japan in one second
The idea is to transport, nay, teleport you into Japan. The retail and cultural landscape of Japan is so unique, so distinctive that many have tried to emulate it but come up short. Until now. Japan’s retail giant Isetan Mitsukoshi is debuting a vertical slice of Japan in Kuala Lumpur on October 27, 2016. Located at Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Isetan’s The Japan Store will be the first in world, with an outpost in Paris set to open shortly after.
Isetan is already a familiar name in Asia, with branches across the continent and past forays into Europe as a traditional, multi-brand departmental store. What makes The Japan Store, supported by the Japanese government’s Cool Japan Fund, so unique is that it will only carry Japanese brands, targeting the luxury segment with laser precision. Brands with centuries of history and an abundance of indulgence that have never before made it out of Japan will be at The Japan Store. Essentially, it will be like stepping into the Land of Rising Sun without the need of a passport.
The Kuala Lumpur store, revamped from an existing Isetan store, will consist of six floors, each themed around a combination of four concepts – miyabi (elegance), iki (cool), sen (sophistication) and so (purity). Eschewing numbers, each floor instead has a thematic name – The Museum, The Market, The Studio, The Room, The Cube and The Table. Global Japanese names like Onitsuka Tiger, Y-3, and Shiseido will proliferate the space, along with first forays for brands such as beauty salon ‘uka x 76style’, Nihonbashi Eitaro sweets, patisserie Henri Charpentier, confectioner Toraya, lacquerware Kazumi Morose, luminescent smart footwear Orphe and smartdoll Mirai Suenaga, created by Danny Choo, son of Malaysia’s Jimmy Choo. Alongside the retail component, The Japan Store will also have an experiential floor – The Cube – focusing on Japanese culture like etiquette, art, craft and a fab space.
Deployed throughout the store will be Team Nadeshiko, a select group of specially-trained customer representatives that will act essentially as personal concierges, assisting in a whole range of areas from styling, gift wrapping to the nuances of enjoying saké. The idea, again, is to teleport the guest to Japan upon entry. Conceptually, The Japan Store is brave. It promises a new world of retail, style and decorum that is second nature in Japan, but rarely found at the same level of accuracy outside its borders. Until now. Irasshaimase!