We found ourselves in a difficult business environment in fiscal 2016, but are promoting our Machi-dukuri strategy. This comprehensive strategy by the Takashimaya Group is aimed at improving customer satisfaction in commercial facilities that integrate department stores and shopping centers. As a result, consolidated business results for fiscal 2016 have achieved an operating income increase for the seventh consecutive term.
For fiscal 2017, we will further concentrate the group's comprehensive strengths, including our department store, real estate, and finance strengths, and further promote our Machi-dukuri strategy.
For the Nihombashi redevelopment project, which is symbolic of the Machi-dukuri strategy currently underway, we will promote redevelopment throughout the town, and plan for the grand opening of a new urban style shopping center in the spring of 2019 which will become a bustling core location.
Last year, we remodeled Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku taking advantage of the great changes to the surrounding environment, such as the opening of the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal. In April of this year, we opened an airport-type urban-based duty-free shop through A&S Takashimaya Duty Free Co., Ltd., a joint venture with ANA Trading Co., Ltd. and Hotel Shilla, Co., Ltd. to respond to inbound demand.
In regards to product lineups, we will utilize the variety of our department stores and flexibility of specialty stores to respond to diversifying needs through a fresh approach. For example, in March 2017, Takashimaya opened Wellbe Field at the Shinjuku store. This floor consists of a variety of shops and was created based on the concept that following a lifestyle which focuses on enhancing both the spirit and body will lead to well-being. Takashimaya is being made more unique through such new shop zoning proposals.
The Takashimaya Group will continue to strengthen its location-based marketing in response to local customer needs and high-quality customer service at its department stores, which make up its core business.
In the real estate business, we will aim to create new value together as a group with Toshin Development Co.,Ltd playing a central role in our Machi-dukuri strategy.
In the financial services business, Takashimaya Credit Co.,Ltd will actively promote card membership approvals to acquire new members and promote the use of cards at external franchise stores with the aim to increase earnings.
Among our overseas businesses, we are preparing to open Siam Takashimaya in Bangkok, which is the third ASEAN store located in Thailand, which follows the opening of Takashimaya Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam last year. We will attempt to maximize Takashimaya Singapore's management resources, know-how, and name recognition in ASEAN countries to quickly reach profitability.
Although we are in an era when the outlook for the future is uncertain, Takashimaya will promote the creation of customer value and business reform by incorporating digital technology and its ideas into the conventional business model. As a result, we will promote a transformation into a next-generation department store group and aim to become a corporate group that will contribute to enriching the lives of our customers. We ask for your continued support and patronage.
Shigeru Kimoto, President