May 31, 2020
Tokyo- Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Inc. reopened a landmark department store in Tokyo's Ginza district on Saturday, after about a month and a half of closure amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
The reopening came after a state of emergency over the coronavirus disease was fully lifted in Japan on Monday.
The major department store operator had closed the Ginza Mitsukoshi and five other stores in the greater Tokyo area, following the government's declaration of the emergency in early April.
On Saturday, the Ginza store was opened 10 minutes earlier than the planned 11 a.m. (2 a.m. GMT), in a bid to ease crowding as waiting customers lined up.
"I wanted to come after so long," said a visitor in her 20s, who lives in Tokyo. "I can purchase cosmetics through mail order, but I wanted to see real products."
Before entering the store, visitors were asked to clean their hands with sanitizers and undergo body temperature checks by thermography.
Furthermore, the entrance and the exit were separated to encourage visitors to move in the same direction within the department store.
As these measures to reduce infection risks will be kept in place for the time being, a recovery in visitor numbers and sales is expected to remain slow. Jiji Press
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