By  on March 25, 2010

TOKYO—Japan’s Takashimaya Co. said Thursday it has scrapped its plans to merge with H2O Retailing Corp., the parent company of Hankyu and Hanshin department stores.

In 2008, the two retailers announced plans to integrate their operations within three years. The combined group would have rivaled Japan’s largest department store retailer Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings. It also would have become the latest example of consolidation in Japan’s retail industry, which is struggling with sluggish consumer demand.

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