Japanese lifestyle retailer debuts new, smaller-format store

TOKYO —After successful launches in Sapporo City and Kanagawa Prefecture, Japanese department-store retailer Tokyu Hands plans to open four Hands be stores in the Tokyo metro area during the current fiscal year.

Hands be is the company’s smaller-format store, which focuses on organic cosmetics, lifestyle-oriented kitchen supplies and stationery goods targeting female customers in their 20s and 30s. The first of the four new Tokyo stores opened Sept. 21 in Kichijoji; the next is slated to open in Shinjuku on Oct. 13, and the third in Akihabara in mid-November.

Hands be store sizes vary by location, with the smallest store running at about 1,300 sq. ft. of selling space and the largest store at about 5,000 sq. ft.

The company plans to expand its Hands be format at a pace of about five to six units a year over the next few years. Tokyu Hands got its start as a do-it-yourself retailer with an emphasis on crafts and materials for projects.

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