The brand’s Japanese arm, Chanel K.K., bought a building in the popular shopping district from Daiei, once Japan’s largest national chain, but now under a restructuring plan.
The nine-story building at Ginza 3-5-3 includes one basement floor and faces Chuo Street, one of the area’s hottest shopping thoroughfares. Neighbors include Louis Vuitton; Mitsukoshi; Shiseido’s fashion retailer, The Ginza, and a retail space that Cartier plans to use.
Chanel will buy the 59,200-square-foot building for $47.5 million (converted from yen at current exchange rates). Chanel and Daiei signed a contract to transfer 504,000 shares of stock on Jan. 25.
The building, once used for a Warner Bros. Studio Store, among Daiei’s joint venture with AOL Time Warner, was renovated for the Japanese retailer’s fashion specialty store that will close this month. The present store occupies 15,000 square feet on four floors.
About $3.75 billion, or 25 percent of Daiei’s total annual sales of $15 billion, comes from apparel and accessories. Daiei Group also owns a pro baseball team.
“Ginza has strong magnetism for brands. And it never fades in the nation’s slow economy,” said Toru Kanyama, a fashion trend commentator here. “The Chuo Street will be a new battlefield for luxury brands.”
Officials at Chanel K.K. could not be reached for comment.
A couple of concentrated designer zones exist in Ginza: Namiki Street, which is a 10-minute walk from the new Chanel site, hosts such labels as Vuitton and Gucci, and Chuo Street, one of the main avenues in the district, has attracted attention, especially since Louis Vuitton opened its store in November 2000.