Having its headquarters in Shinjuku-Tokyo, Isetan is a leading corporate group in Japan's retailing industry and renowned for its unique range of merchandise with high-quality service as a department store, domestically and internationally.
Isetan has been a watchword for creativity and ingenuity since it established over a century ago in 1886. Isetan always aims for high customer satisfaction and is devoted to provide customers with the best and most innovative products. In the 1890s and early 1900s, Isetan obtained a high reputation for selling fashionable kimono designs and obi sashes after which Isetan's name became associated with the latest in fashion apparel.
Isetan has always been very much attuned to the changing of customers' needs. Which is why, in 1956, Isetan opened the 1st of its kind- a teenage-girl department specially catering to 13-17 year olds. Not long after that, Isetan also launched its novel item(at that time), the tartan-checked shopping bags. Later, the tartan-checked pattern became very popular and was even used for skirts.
When the market was shifting from tailor-made clothes to ready-to-wear clothes in the mid-1950s, a new off-the-rack sizing system revolution was introduced to suit the Japanese female figure. In 1965, Isetan and other major department stores succeeded in establishing a new uniform size-numbering system for woman's apparels. This system remains in Japan until today. With continuous focus on developing innovative sizes, Isetan also launched several specialty shops namely "Lady Clover" for larger women; and "Strawberry" and "Young Clover" for petite sizes. Today, Isetan's Size Network has broadened its focus to accommodate not just women but also men's apparel, furniture, household items and food.
In 1968, Isetan proved themselves as a trend innovator when they opened Men's Annex, the 1st department store for men (which was one of the few in the world at the time). The Men's Annex gained many new customers; men's fashion became popular and Japanese men began to show more individuality in their choice of clothes.
In 1972, Isetan opened its first overseas department store in Singapore and was among one of the first Japanese retail groups to enter the Asian market. With the continuing expansion plans, Isetan has gradually established its business in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu and Shenyang. To support the international aspects of the merchandising, Isetan also set up overseas representative offices in New York, Paris and Milan- fashion capitals of the world.
In 1990, Isetan opened its 1st department store in Lot10 shopping centre, Kuala Lumpur. With "Customer First" as a guiding principal in all aspects of serving the customers, Isetan Kuala Lumpur successfully launched a card member service club to promptly respond to various customer's needs. During that year, its international designer boutiques at the upper level were among the 1st of its kind in the country's fashion retailing.
On May 30, 1998, Isetan Kuala Lumpur opened its flagship store at Suria KLCC, situated next to the Petronas Twins Towers (the tallest building in the world at the time). With an exciting range of merchandise catering to the entire family and occupying over a quarter of a million square feet of retail space, Isetan KLCC has become a major landmark in the retail industry. In 2007, Isetan set up its 3rd departmental store in The Gardens, Mid Valley, taking up 150,000 sq ft and spread over four levels. The 4th store is due to open in April 2012 at 1 Utama, Selangor. Isetan will occupy 99,000 sq ft and cover three levels at 1 Utama Complex.
In April 2011, Isetan KLCC went through a major store refurbishment and is due for completion in July 2012.
Mitsukoshi Ltd. and Isetan Co., Ltd established the jointly owned Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd in April 2008, working towards the same goal- to become an indispensable departmental store by continually creating high quality, new lifestyles, and being of use to their customers in the many different roles in life. Fiscal year 2011 marks the turn where Isetan Mitsukoshi enters a new phase of linking previous integration between the two companies to achieve growth.