Outdoor retailer RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT, INC. has selected TOKYU CORP.'s Minami Machida Shopping Center as the location of its first international store (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, p. 15). The Seattle company will lease more than 30,000 square feet of the 215,000 square feet in the American-style mall, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2000. Located between Tokyo and Yokohama, it will contain about 50 tenants. The REI store will have sections devoted to camping and hiking, bicycling, climbing and outdoor travel. It also will feature such novelties for Japan as an indoor rock-climbing pinnacle, a hiking shoe test trail and an outdoor mountain biking trail. Work on the store will begin in April 1999 and will be handled by Tokyu's Minami Machida project team. MITHUN PARTNERS, INC., the Seattle architectural firm that designed REI's flagship store in the city, is the design architect for the Japanese outlet's interior and exterior spaces.
By early 1999, the Tokyo subsidiary of discount office products catalog seller VIKING OFFICE PRODUCTS INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, p. 29) will be absorbed by OFFICE DEPOT INC.'s local operation. The move, which follows Office Depot's acquisition of Viking, will give the store- based office supplies discounter complementary marketing channels in Japan as well as in the United States. Office Depot's subsidiary plans to begin catalog sales from the middle of March.
An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.