Tokyo dept. stores start resuming operations as virus concerns ease

May 23 ,2020. 5 hours ago – 13:51 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Some major department stores in the Tokyo metropolitan area resumed more of their operations Saturday following a six-week suspension over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

After the Seibu department store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district opened its doors at 10 a.m., more than 50 people who had been waiting outside entered after having their temperature checked and disinfecting their hands.

The department store had continued to operate its food section even after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency over the pneumonia-causing virus on April 7.

The flagship store of Sogo and Seibu Co. has now reopened floors for clothing and other daily necessities, but not for jewelry and art products.

“We have heard from many customers that they want to buy women’s clothes and household goods,” said manager Toshiki Kubota. “We can now finally welcome them after taking sufficient anti-infection measures.”

Takashimaya department stores owned by Takashimaya Co. resumed sales on May 14 of daily necessities, with shortened operating hours.

Matsuya Co.’s Matsuya Ginza department store, which has been closed completely, plans to resume sales of food on Monday and return to full operations on June 1.