In fiscal year 2018, we recorded increased revenue thanks in large part to the performance of our department stores in Japan. However, profit was down because we invested significant sums for future growth, such as in Nihombashi Takashimaya Shopping Center. This fiscal year, we expect to get a return on these investments and see increased profit.
As part of our growth strategy, we are aiming to evolve into a next-generation department store business. To this end, we are working to increase the synergy between our department stores and group companies, our online and offline services, and our operations in Japan and those overseas. Our department store business remains the centerpiece of our group, and we will continue to pursue the “Machi-dukuri” Strategy, a group-wide effort to ensure that our stores are community-based and that they deliver exciting and inspiring shopping experiences.
Meanwhile, we must adapt to changes in Japan’s business environment, which include falling demand, the hike in consumption tax, and the rising costs of labor and transport.
To ensure our long-term corporate growth, I am spearheading a bold program of reform, which includes rebuilding our business strategy from the ground up.
This fiscal year, we have incorporated SDGs into our business strategy, developed the Takashimaya Group SDG Principles, and outlined a roadmap for achieving five SDG-related objectives. In this way, we are making active efforts to address social and environmental challenges at the same time as we develop our main business—department stores. This approach will help us achieve sustainable business growth.
Some of our stores are being revamped. Tamagawa Takashimaya Shopping Center’s food area is being refurbished this year in conjunction with the store’s fiftieth anniversary. Similarly, 2021 will see the completion of an enlarged food area in Yokohama store. At 5,000 square meters, the new food area will be one of the largest in the country. We are also refurbishing Takashimaya Osaka’s East Wing, which houses offices and the Takashimaya Archives. The refurbished wing will capitalize on the cultural value of the building’s architecture.
Aside from department stores, we will actively invest in our real-estate, finance, and overseas businesses to capitalize on the growth potential in these sectors.
These investments in our department stores and other businesses will help build a solid foundation for growth. I look forward to your continued support and confidence in the years ahead.
Yoshio Murata, President