Sogo

Sogo Co., Ltd. ( _ja. 株式会社そごう; zh-t|t=崇光百貨有限公司) is a department store chain that operates an extensive network of branches in Japan. It once owned stores in locations as diverse as Beijing, China, Hong Kong, Taipei, Taiwan, Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Singapore, Bangkok, Thailand and London, United Kingdom, but most of these international branches are now operated by independent franchises.

History

Sogo was founded in 1830 in Osaka by Ihei Sogo as a retailer of used kimono.

In July 2000, the company faced financial troubles caused by the reckless real estate investment policy of the former chairman, Hiroo Mizushima, and the collapse of Japanese real estate prices since the mid-1980s. The group collapsed under a debt mountain of US$17 billion, owed principally to Industrial Bank of Japan [cite news|title = Former Chairman Held Responsible For Japanese Retailer's $100 Million Debts|publisher = BBC World Service | date = July 27, 2000 | accessdate = 2007-03-23 | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/story_ret270700.shtml] . Sogo applied to Osaka District Court under the Civil Rehabilitation Law on July 12, 2000. It has had to divest itself of unprofitable business lines, as well as valuable assets such as several stores in Japan (e.g., Kokura and Kurosaki) and some overseas stores, including ones in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Other overseas Sogo stores survived under independent franchises, through which the Japanese company has also managed to raise capital.

In Japan, Sogo is now a subsidiary of Millennium Retailing.

China

Sogo also has two main stores in Beijing. The store located in Beijing's southern district is one of the largest and most prestigious department stores in the city.

In 2004, Jiuguang Department Store in Shanghai was opened as a joint venture between Lifestyle International Holdings of Hong Kong (owner of the Hong Kong SOGO) and the state-owned Joinbuy Group of Shanghai. The department store is located in the fashionable Jin'an District adjacent to the Jin'an Temple, on West Nanjing Road. The store operation is a clone of the SOGO in Hong Kong including the high-end supermarket Freshmart and Beaute @ Jiuguang (instead of Beaute @ Sogo).

The store also brought in some very exclusive designers, a lot of which had their first counter in China or Asia such as Thomas Pink, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood.

Hong Kong

The Causeway Bay store on Hong Kong Island, also known colloquially as "Jumbo Sogo," opened in 1980.

Following Sogo Group's collapse, the business of Sogo Hong Kong, including the 40,500-square-meter retail property located in Causeway Bay, was sold for US$453.6 million to two local businessmen Thomas Lau of Chinese Estates and Henry Cheng of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises when the Japanese Sogo went bankrupt [cite news|title = H.K. tycoons to buy H.K. Sogo's prime site, store|publisher = Asian Economic News | date = Jan 8, 2001 | accessdate = 2007-03-23 | url = http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDP/is_2001_Jan_8/ai_70384807] . They took Sogo public by injecting this asset into Lifestyle International in 2004.

Sogo Hong Kong Co. Ltd, the Sogo franchisee, now operates one additional store in Tsim Sha Tsui, which opened on September 30, 2005, marking the 25th anniversary of Sogo in Hong Kong. The Causeway Bay store has had an extension built, which opened in November 22, 1993, and carries items in all product categories within a 15-story building. It recently opened the "Sogo Club" and "Sogo Book club" as well as a new annex building named "Beauté by Sogo". The Tsim Sha Tsui branch focuses on designer fashions.

Taiwan

In Taiwan, as a subsidiary of Far East Group, Pacific Sogo operates 17 stores: eight in Taiwan and nine in China (three in Shanghai, one in Beijing, two in Chengdu, two in Chongqing and one in Dalian, as of August 2007) [cite website|title = Sogo Taiwan| accessdate = 2007-08-12 | url = http://www.sogo.com.tw] .

Pacific Sogo recently found itself in the midst of a corruption scandal over gift certificates involving the family of Republic of China's President Chen Shui-Bian; the case is still under investigations as one of the accused, Wu Shu-zhen has not appeared since the first trial was held. [cite news|title = Taiwan's Chen in corruption case|publisher = BBC News | date = November 3, 2006 | accessdate = 2007-08-12 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6112668.stm]

Indonesia

Targeting the upper-class market, Sogo department store in Indonesia operates under PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk. and is currently the largest Sogo franchisee with a total of nine department stores. All stores are located at high-end shopping malls in Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall 2 and Mal Kelapa Gading 3 in Jakarta; Plaza Tunjungan and Mall Galaxy Extension in Surabaya; Bali Collection and Discovery Shopping Mall in Bali; Sun Plaza in Medan; and Paris van Java in Bandung.

All stores feature an international market targeted Sogo Supermarket except in Bali Collection and Discovery Shopping Centre. The company introduced a new supermarket concept store named Sogo The Foodhall. The new concept store first opened in conjunction with the opening of Pondok Indah Mall 2 store in 2005. Currently, Sogo the Foodhall are also located in Senayan City (as part of Debenhams department store), Plaza Senayan (as part of Sogo department store), Grand Indonesia (as part of Seibu department store) and Plaza Indonesia.

Most Sogo department stores in Indonesia house Planet Sports and Kidz Station. All stores in Jakarta also house a Chaterbox Cafe. Previously Indonesia's largest international book store (currently the second largest), Books Kinokuniya is housed in the upper level of Plaza Senayan flagship store. Two Starbucks Coffee shops are also located in the upper and lower levels of the store.

First opened in 1990, Sogo was first located at Plaza Indonesia. However, the store was closed in February 2006, exactly 17 years after its opening while it retained its Sogo Supermarket operation before being redeveloped into Sogo the Food Hall. Both the flagship store and management office were moved to Plaza Senayan, which is currently the largest Sogo in Indonesia, spreading over six levels.

The same company also houses Seibu, another department store of Millennium Retailing Group, across the road from the previously located Sogo Plaza Indonesia at Grand Indonesia, one of the largest upper-scale shopping mall in South East Asia.

Malaysia

SOGO Kuala Lumpur (also known as [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] ) is undoubtedly the largest single department store in Malaysia. It is strategically located at a landmark site on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the best known shopping streets of Kuala Lumpur. [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] commenced business in 1994 and since then there have made considerable progress on each point of their retail strategy, in terms of product and merchandise, character and environment. They have always maintained their position as the city’s premier retail outlet through creative innovation and evolution. They have not only adapted to the market’s changing trends but have also been in the forefront of the trends. Today, [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] is arguably ranked the busiest, the biggest and the best single department store in the country. They are a retailer that is still constantly changing, actively reinventing and preparing the ground for future growth and becoming infinitely more efficient and friendly with their customers.

The improvement in [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] begins and ends with their customers, and as the customer change, they change to cater for the needs. Their customers are very close to thier hearts and they are constantly engaging with the customer to be locally relevant. The whole spirit and splendour of [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] is always captured in the ever smiling faces of their exuberant shoppers. Anytime is a good time shopping in [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] . The store is always vibrant and filled with lots of energy and excitement. It is like a theatre full of interesting retail drama everyday.

[http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] is a real shopper’s paradise, boasting more than 700,000 square feet of one-stop retail space spread over 10 floors of the most desirable and exquisite merchandise. You will be able to find the most complete selection of affordable exclusive fashion labels and top quality branded products, inter alia, womenswear, cosmetics and fragrances, menswear, childrenswear, home furnishings and even fine Bone China and crystals. And for your refreshment during your shopping, you may want to try one of their international restaurants or the Saji Food Court on the 6th Floor with the most deliciously assembled authentic local cuisines and tasteful delicacies. There is always something in [http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] for all tastes.

[http://www.klsogo.com.my KL SOGO] is simply phenomenal and a ‘must visit’ destination store. It has such an aura of opulence and distinctive extravagance. You have to see to believe this spectacular store. Your shopping adventure will surely be a captivating and illuminating experience. You will probably come back for more because they are simply above and beyond the rest!

ingapore

Once located at one of the most busiest and strategic shopping centres, Raffles City, the Singapore flagship store was closed in 2003 due to the bankcrupcy of Sogo Japan. The space has since been occupied by Singapore's Robinsons.

ogo Gallery

ee also

*Seibu Department Stores, another subsidiary of "Millennium Retailing"
*Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd.

References

External links

*ja icon [http://www2.sogo-gogo.com/ SOGO Japan]
*ja icon [http://www.millennium-retailing.co.jp/ Millennium Retailing]
*zh icon [http://www.sogo.com.hk/ SOGO Hong Kong]
*zh icon [http://www.sogo.com.tw/ Pacific SOGO Taiwan (Taipei, Chungli, Hsinchu, Kaoshiung)]
*zh icon [http://www.kssogo.com.tw/ Kuan San SOGO Taiwan (Taichung)]
*en icon [http://www.map.co.id/ SOGO Indonesia, PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk.]
*en icon [http://www.klsogo.com.my/ SOGO Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]


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