The Loft heads to China with new store and partner

Japanese household goods store The Loft is preparing to open a new store in China’s Chengdu with local superstore business Chengdu Ito-Yokado.

The Loft holds a 90 per cent stake in the new joint venture, which has registered capital of RMB45 million (US$6.54 million).

Chengdu Ito-Yokado is a subsidiary of fellow Japanese general merchandise retailer Ito-Yokado, which has 14 stores in Chengdu and Beijing. The Loft entered discussions with the company to form a partnership while it was evaluating opportunities for a long-term corporate strategy in Mainland China. The new joint venture now paves the way for The Loft to prepare to open its directly managed stores in Chengdu and elsewhere in China.

The Loft, which specialises in display and layout arrangements for household accessories, cosmetics and stationery, is one of Japan’s largest retailers of household goods with more than 100 stores in Japan. It also has a presence in Thailand. As many Chinese tourists have been visiting Loft stores, particularly Shibuya Loft in the Tokyo metropolitan area, the firm believes its stores in China will be able to attract new local customers.

The new store is expected to launch in spring next year.

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