Rapid shopping centre (SC) development continues in 2017. According to the Japan Council of Shopping Centers, 46 new SCs are expected to be developed within Japan in 2017. Although the number of large-scale SCs expected is low compared to 2015 and 2016, there will be a series of notable facilities developed in major cities and around train stations. Among these, there are prominent cases of new SC development occurring via major renovations or redevelopments of department stores and large-scale retailers. With much development set to occur in areas where commercial competition is already fierce, it is inevitable that competition will further heat up in the future.

According to the Japan Council of Shopping Centers, 54 facilities were developed in 2016. This figure is down from the 60 facilities developed in 2015, but represents the fourth year in a row that the number has been up from the 50 facilities developed in 2013. The new developments brought the total number of SCs to 3,212 at the end of 2016 (according to preliminary figures; the total number of facilities was 3,195 at the end of 2015).




While there are no facilities being developed by major developers Mitsui Fudosan or Mitsubishi Estate, the Aeon group continues to be actively developing properties. Among new developments are four Aeon Malls and three Aeon Towns, one of which is to be opened in Yoshikawaminami in the second fiscal half of the year. Redevelopment is also occurring at the Takasaki OPA and other properties owned by the Aeon group, including the previous site of the Vivre buildings. The general merchandise store (GMS) Aeon Toyota will be rebuilt as the Aeon Toyota Shopping Centre as well.

Continuing on from 2016, there will be a series of developments in areas where competition is fierce, which will include shifts toward new lines of business.

The area with the most going on is Ginza. Along with the end of a trademark contract with French brand Printemps, Printemps Ginza will become Marronier Gate starting in January 2017. The already existing Marronier Gate and Printemps Ginza 2 buildings will be rebranded as Marronier Gate Ginza 1 and Marronier Gate Ginza 2 & 3 respectively on March 15, alongside their reopening following renovations. Marronier Gates 2 and 3 will be home to 122 stores, with a total of approximately 90% of tenants leasing space. The buildings will shift their focus away from mainly young fashion to become merchandising stores focused more on working women and stylish mums in their 20s to 40s. The buildings will also carry increased ratios of non-apparel goods.

Ginza Six will be large commercial complexes in two areas, including the former site of Matsuzakaya Ginza. The new facility will be managed by the joint investment companies of J Front Retailing, Mori Building, L Real Estate, and Sumitomo Corporation.

A portion of the commercial facilities on the 12th floor, in addition to the whole of the first two floors underground and the first six floors above ground, will be created around the concept of new luxury, and will feature about 240 stores, centring on luxury brand flagship stores. 65 stores will represent new business lines, and 81 stores will be the first stores that companies are opening in Ginza. This merchandising facility will give a feeling of freshness, and work to attract consumers that value useful items through art and culture events, and so on. Another portion of the 12th floor and the whole of the sixth to the 11th floors will see the addition of offices capable of hosting approximately 3,000 employees. This is expected to change the flow of people around the area.

Large-scale development continues around the Nagoya Station area as well. The Takashimaya Gate Tower Mall will open within JR Gate Tower on April 17. Comprising 150 stores, this facility will offer new fashion, cosmetics, and fashion accessories within mainly speciality stores. As more stores are gathered around the station area, competition will inevitably heat up with other areas, such as nearby Sakae.

In addition to the above, another noteworthy development is the redesign of the Matsuzakaya Ueno Southern Building to host the new Parco in Tokyo. As with Sendai Parco 2, which was developed as a new building for Sendai Parco in 2016, the new Parco building is envisaged as a lifestyle proposal location that combines miscellaneous goods and food with fashion.