Japanese bookstore Tsutaya to open outlet in Chengdu: report

14, Apr. 2020

A Tsutaya Shoten bookstore in Ginza, Tokyo (Photo courtesy of Tsutaya Books)
A Tsutaya Shoten bookstore in Ginza, Tokyo (Photo courtesy of Tsutaya Books)

TOKYO, NNA – Japan’s Tsutaya Books Co., the operator of a video rental, bookstore and café fusion-style chain, is planning to open an outlet in Chengdu, central China, according to a Chinese media report.

The book retailer, an affiliate of Culture Convenience Club Co. (CCC), a Tokyo-based culture and entertainment service group, “has formed a business alliance (with a local company), but we can’t provide any detailed information,” Tomoki Nonaka, a CCC group spokesman told NNA on Monday.

Local media in Sichuan Province reported last Thursday that Tsutaya Books has signed a contract on a strategic alliance with Chengdu Rail Transit Group Co., which operates a subway system in the city. The Japanese firm intends to open a Tsutaya Shoten and Tsutaya Bookstore in the capital of the central province.

The former bookstore brand targets middle-aged and senior people, while the latter aims to draw younger customers in Japan, according to Nonaka.

Tsutaya Investment (Shanghai) Co., a group arm of CCC established in February, also plans to open a store in both Hangzhou and Shanghai but the initial schedule is being reviewed due to the spread of the coronavirus in mainland China, according to the spokesman.

He said CCC has yet to officially announce its foray into China, its second foreign market after Taiwan, adding a Chinese partner has already unveiled plans to launch the two franchised shops in eastern China.

CCC entered Taiwan in 2012 through a capital and business alliance with CMC Magnetics Co. group, a major optical disc maker, and has launched franchised stores. It has also formed a franchise partnership with local property-to-retail conglomerate Ruentex Group. The Japanese group’s bookstore with café outlets currently total 10 on the island, Nonaka said.

Tsutaya Books will open its 11th franchised shop in the southern port city of Kaohsiung in May, he added.

CCC’s history dates back to 1983 when the first Tsutaya Shoten bookstore was opened in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan. It was incorporated as CCC in 1985. The company operates a nationwide chain of video rental and bookstores with cafés.