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DFS Group to locate its duty free store to Omoromachi

Date Posted: 2003-03-15

The world’s largest operator of duty free shops wants to open a new location in Naha City. DFS Group, which already has an outlet at Naha Airport, says it wants to open it’s a new shop in the Omoromachi district in Naha City.

DFS Group, which has been in negotiations with the prefecture and Ginowan City, originally planned to open Okinawa’s first duty free shopping mall outside the airport on reclaimed land near the Okinawa Convention Center. A financial scandal involving the developer of the area, and the recent political turmoil in Ginowan, has prompted the company to cancel its plans. DFS then informed prefecture officials that it would open the new shopping center in Omoromachi,or not at all.

The group had demanded the prefecture’s approval by Mar. 7, but agreed to prefecture’s request to postpone a decision until Mar. 15. In practice, however, the prefecture has already given the green light to the Omoromachi location, although prefecture officials say that they need to hold more talks with Ginowan City.

Ginowan City officials are trying to put their best face on the situation, although many admit privately that failing to secure the Okinawa International Shopping Mall to their city is a bitter pill to swallow. “We still can go ahead with our project with the planned hotels, supermarkets, parks and other facilities, with or without DFS” a Ginowan City official insists.

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