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Daiei restructuring may lead to Okinawa store closings

Date Posted: 2005-01-06

Ailing Daiei Inc. might shut down its stores in Okinawa, as well as some in mainland Japan.
Daiei has been losing money over the past several years, causing a government agency to get involved in restructuring. The proposal being discussed now calls for stores in the Shikoku and the Chugoku region to close, based on a revival plan mapped out by the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan. Sources say the deal could also cost Okinawa its two remaining stores. Daiei may also close all but two stores in the Tohoku region, the sources said.

The government-backed agency, which has agreed to assist in rehabilitating the struggling retailer, plans to trim Daiei's business areas, because its says Daiei's past policy of hanging on to nationwide operations was one factor contributing to poor performance. Still, sources say the plan is likely to be finalized by taking into account the intentions of sponsors to be chosen in the spring.

Daiei currently has six outlets in the Chugoku region, four in Shikoku and two in Okinawa. The retailer will shut down 53 of its losingoperations, mainly general merchandise stores, out of its 263 stores, while opening 100 new supermarkets in the Tokyo and Osaka areas.

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