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London and Japan agree luxury retail partnership

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By Gemma Taylor -

The London Luxury Quarter, which incorporates over 300 luxury brands based in London’s West End, yesterday announced its partnership with the growing Marunouchi luxury district in Tokyo.

The New West End Company proposition was developed to target the affluent consumers that shop in the area. It is hoped that the pairing will capitalise on the £117 million spent by Japanese tourists annually and increase the number of international visitors to the area.

Marunouchi is located in the centre of Tokyo and attracts one million visitors daily, offering high-end brands such a Hermes, Tiffany & Co and Giorgio Armani. The move is only the second international pairing of luxury retail districts in the world, following the Mitsubishi Estate’s Marunouchi district’s partnership with New York’s Madison Avenue, a relationship initiated in 2009 that resulted in a 15 per cent increase in Japanese visitors to the US city.

Commenting on the level of interest that the partnership brought, during which time the average spend by Japanese visitors to New York saw a 6.3 per cent uplift, President of Madison Avenue Business Improvement District Matthew Bauer said: “Our partnership with Marunouchi has re-introduced Madison Avenue to Tokyo’s luxury consumers, and has created opportunities for cross-marketing programming that benefits our respective retailers.

“New cultural programming has also been implemented as part of this partnership, enriching the experience of visiting both of our shopping districts.”

This announcement follows news that London has overtaken New York as the fashion capital of the world. In spite of consumers feeling the squeeze during the ongoing economic downturn, West End retailers reported an overall trading increase of 6.8 per cent year-on-year last month.

The twinning with Tokyo aims to capitalise on these developments and has been welcomed by both Japanese and British representatives.

Mark Henderson, Chairman of London Luxury, commented: “Tokyo has for a long time been one of the world’s leading and most sophisticated luxury destinations.

“Maranouchi is fast becoming the centre of the best luxury shopping mirroring London’s West End with brands like Hermes, Bottega Venetta, Tods and Burberry for example – we anticipate that the partnership with Marunouchi will draw in more parallel brands.”

Jo Kato, Director and Senior Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Estate, which heads the Marunouchi Shopping District Committee, expects the partnership to be mutually beneficial. She said: “This twinning will link us to one of the world’s most renowned luxury shopping districts and strengthen our reputation as an international shopping destination.

“There are many commercial similarities between our Marunouchi area and the London Luxury district, and we expect this partnership to be very fruitful.”

Published on Tuesday 23 August by Editorial Assistant

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