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Barneys Japan to Open in Kobe

Barneys Japan is preparing to open a store in the port city of Kobe in spring 2010 in the first step in a renewed expansion program.

TOKYO — Barneys Japan is preparing to open a store in the port city of Kobe in spring 2010 in the first step in a renewed expansion program.

This story first appeared in the June 10, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The new store will be the island nation’s fourth Barneys, joining the retailer’s two outposts in Tokyo and a store in Yokohama, Japan’s second-biggest city. Barneys Japan also said it is planning to open more stores in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, and experiment with smaller store formats, e-commerce and outlets.

The Kobe opening represents Barneys Japan’s first expansion move since Sumitomo Corp. and Tokio Marine Capital Co. Ltd. bought the retailer from Isetan in 2006, ending a long, acrimonious partnership between Isetan and Barneys New York, which at that time was owned by Jones Apparel Group but is now owned by Istithmar.

The 30,000-square-foot Kobe store will occupy the lower three levels of a hotel building on a shopping strip home to Louis Vuitton and Prada.

First-year sales are projected to be 3 billion yen, or about $29 million.