MILAN — Prada Group has opened a new Miu Miu boutique in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

This is the second Miu Miu boutique in the city. The first bowed in March 1999 in Tokyo’s Aoyama district.

Patrizio Bertelli, Prada’s chief executive officer, said in a statement, "The Japanese are a discerning people, with a deep understanding of fashion and luxury. This is why the younger and emerging generations have welcomed the Miu Miu message, thus encouraging us to consolidate our presence in Tokyo."

Bertelli was not in town for the opening, as he was in Milan for the men’s fashion shows.

Prada, like many European brands including Louis Vuitton and Hermès, is building a retail network in Japan while the economy — and real estate prices —are soft. The strategy is that brands should get in while the market is accessible, and build a strong presence for when the economy rebounds.

Besides the existing Prada boutique in Tokyo, the company will open two other stores in that city this year. The first will open this spring, at the end of March, in the Ginza district, in the lime green store format. The second will open this summer in the Aoyama district, and will be designed by Herzog & De Meuron.

All stores in Japan are directlyowned by the company. In 2001, the Asia-Pacific area accounted for 29 percent of sales, or about $478 million of the $1.65 billion in sales that year. Full-year figures for 2002 are not yet available.

The company also plans to open a Miu Miu store in Seoul, Korea, in the second half of this year. There is an existing Prada store in that city.

The 4,320-square-foot Miu Miu store in Tokyo, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, carries accessories and both the women’s and men’s lines. In line with other Miu Miu stores, it contrasts white and red, with the addition of new elements such as the floors in volcanic stone imported from Italy.

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