Department stores in rural areas and suburbs are closing one after another nationwide due to the declining population and intensifying competition with specialty stores and online shopping.

Under these circumstances, a department store in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, announced that it would close last year, but in response to a series of calls from local customers to continue, the number of employees and the scale of the store were reduced. Business has resumed.

Saikaya, a department store in Yokosuka City, was founded in 1872 by its predecessor, a kimono shop.

In 1928, it changed to the current department store format and has three stores in Kanagawa prefecture.

However, in addition to the declining population, competition with specialty stores such as clothing and online shopping became fierce, and business performance continued to deteriorate, such as being in the red for the fourth consecutive year.

Sales in the fiscal year ended February 2nd last year fell to one-fifth of the peak of about 20 years ago, and the company announced the closure of the Yokosuka store in May last year.

However, after the announcement, familiar customers and others asked for their survival, and some of them were sent directly to the store manager, Yukio Hara.

The letter said, "I heard that the store is closed and what should I do from now on? I will never be lonely like this." Or "I have a lot of memories of the past and I want you to continue at all costs."

Searching for reconstruction Judging that it is profitable

In response to these voices, as a result of searching for a way to rebuild with the head office,

▽ recruiting voluntary retirees and reducing the number of employees to about one-third,

▽ sales floor from the 1st basement floor to the 6th floor to the 4th floor

It is said that it is possible to make


profit by

reducing the size and

reviewing the tenants who move in


Hara said, "I strongly realized that the people in the area thought it was a landmark of the town. Not only did I feel sorry for the voice, but I also decided to make a self-help effort and face the backwaters." I was talking.

"Without announcing the closing of the store again"

The store closed once on the 21st of last month due to necessary renovations.

And it resumed business at 10 am on the 6th.

The store manager Hara greeted a large number of customers who had lined up before the store opened, saying, "I want to continue working with you here without announcing the closing of the store again."

When reopening,

▽ a service counter that handles catalog gifts and gift certificates was set up on the first floor where many customers gather to improve convenience, and

▽ aisle spacing was widened so that shopping can be done more comfortably than before. It means that it has become.

The 5th and 6th floors, which have been vacant due to the elimination of the sales floor, will be used as vaccination venues for the new coronavirus vaccine for the time being.

A 75-year-old woman who has been using the store for nearly 50 years said, "I'm really happy to have reopened because it's a familiar store where shopping only comes here from a young age."

Yukio Hara, the manager of Saikaya Yokosuka Shopping Plaza, said, "I think that the people in the area have made use of it, so I want to think that I have been reborn and start management. I want to aim for a store that will be loved for a long time. "