Japanese chain unveils female-focused concept

TOKYO Drug Store News sister publication Chain Store Age Japan reported. The company opened its first two locations in April at Aeon Tsudanuma Shopping Center in Shino City, Chiba Prefecture, and Aeon Lake Town Shopping Center, in Koshigaya City, Saitama Prefecture. —Japanese mega-retailer Aeon Co. has developed a new concept store called R.O.U., which focuses on 30-something female shoppers,

Both stores measure approximately 21,500 sq. ft. of selling space, and stock approximately 60,000 items in stationery, beauty care, household goods and other general merchandise categories. The stores also feature a full-service nail salon.

In a bid to quickly respond to customer needs, and maintain optimal assortment and inventory levels, the stores employ a decentralized “buyer/salesperson system,” by which store associates serve as salespeople on the floor and also handle buying activities for the store.

Aeon plans to roll out the new concept at a pace of about five to seven stores a year, using the new format as the anchor of the shopping centers the company operates.