DFS opens Japan’s first ‘domestic’ duty free shop in Okinawa – 15/12/04
Source: The Moodie Report; Kyodo News
By Martin Moodie
The Okinawa store features many of the world’s top luxury brands including Bvlgari, Burberry, Cartier, Celine, Coach, Chopard, Dior, Fendi, Ferragamo, Montblanc, Prada, Tiffany and Tods
JAPAN. DFS Group today opened its latest DFS Galleria in Naha's Omoromachi district on the island of Okinawa.
The new store is one of the group’s most important investments and is Japan’s first downtown duty free shop, which, uniquely, operates in the ‘domestic’ market.
The dispensation granting the store duty free status was granted under a special Law on Special Measures for the Promotion and Development of Okinawa.
DFS has operated a highly-successful duty free operation for domestic flights at Naha airport since May 2002. Japanese customers can shop duty free to a value of ¥200,000 yen, enjoying up to -30% discounts off domestic prices.
"DFS Galleria Okinawa [is] the only place in Japan to enjoy domestic duty free savings on the world’s leading luxury brands," said the operator. "DFS Okinawa offers many exclusive DFS-only items and a selection of this season’s latest collections. A state of the art facility, positioned within domestic Japan yet retaining duty free status, and featuring the world’s most prestigious brands, DFS Galleria Okinawa will be Okinawa’s ‘must see’ attraction.”
As with all Gallerias, there is a heavy emphasis on branded boutiques. The Okinawa store features many of the world’s top luxury brands including Bvlgari, Burberry, Cartier, Celine, Coach, Chopard, Dior, Fendi, Ferragamo, Montblanc, Prada, Tiffany and Tods. The beauty line-up features Biotherm, Bobby Brown, Chanel, Clinique, MAC, La Mer, Shu Uemura and others.
A powerful leather and fashion offer includes Dunhill, Hunting World, Etro, Kate Spade, Tumi and Polo. The store also features a strong local gifts and specialties range reflecting the unique Okinawa culture as well as European branded chocolatiers such as Godiva and Ferrero.
The DFS Galleria is located adjacent to the Omoromachi monorail station, and covers about 17,000sq m of land with a total floor space of 40,000sq m. Of that, 13,000sq m is dedicated to sales space. A complementary shuttle bus operates daily between eight Naha City hotels and DFS Galleria Okinawa for hotel guests to shop and then return to their hotels.
The new store is a canny investment by DFS. Not only is Okinawa already a well-established holiday destination, but in the event of any external crisis to impact the global travel retail business the Japanese have a traditional tendency to holiday at home.
DFS has been granted a 20-year lease by building owners NTD, a subsidiary wholly owned by Kokuba- gumi, Okinawa's biggest general construction company.
Crucially from a retail perspective, the new building is not only physically connected to the monorail station but also houses the island’s only consolidated rental car facility. Most Japanese visitors to Okinawa hire cars for their vacation – and to access their vehicles, and after drop-off, they pass through the store.
Other highlights include the Food Coliseum on the store's mezzanine floor. This features an open kitchen dining environment with a wide range of menu options, including a selection of international food from well-known restaurants such as La Boem, Zest, Monsoon café and Gonpachi.
DFS even offers a 'Luggage Express Service' – a home delivery service within Japan. Purchases are delivered to the customer's home within 24 hours.
MORE STORIES ON DFS IN OKINAWA
DFS selects Asia Payment Systems for credit card processing services in run-up to Okinawa opening – 20/07/04
Work begins on spectacular DFS facility on Okinawa – 01/01/04