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Yamagataya department store to close in August

Date Posted: 1999-05-29

Okinawa Yamagataya, one of the prefecture's most distinguished department stores, will permanently close its doors to the public this August. Citing a downturn in passing trade, caused by a lack of parking areas on Kokusai Street and Naha's notorious traffic congestion along the main thoroughfare, the announcement came at a press conference held May 20.

Yamagataya tried unsuccessfully to check the downturn by discontinuing its food section to defray rising costs, but this proved ineffectual and convinced the store president the store could no longer remain a viable concern. The store first opened its doors in 1922, when it was then known as Yamagataya Kimono Shop Okinawa Branch.

Yamagataya staff have been offered employment at the main store in Kagoshima and other Yamagataya branches on the mainland. Governor Keiichi Inamine said he felt saddened by the announcement, and aired concerns that the economy may be badly affected by its closure.

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