Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Mitsukoshi, The Japanese Retailer's Troubled Times

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Mitsukoshi: The Japanese Retailer's Troubled Times

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: R Muthukumar, Daksha Bhatt

Industry: Retailing


Case Code: TRT0010

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Mitsukoshi, started in 1673, runs around a dozen department stores and about 100 smaller stores in Japan and around 20 outlets in major European, North American and Asian cities. By the 1960s, it had become the best-stocked and prestigious department store, but since the mid-1970s, Mitsukoshi has been marred by decades of management problems and a struggling economy.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss how Mitsukoshi lost its share to other retailers like supermarkets, superstores and discount stores
  • To discuss the strategies adopted by Mitsukoshi to respond to Japan's sluggish economy and consumers' changing behaviour
  • To discuss how the company was restructuring to avoid further troubles.

Keywords :  Mitsukoshi; Department store; Retailing; Restructuring; Economy bubble; Consumer price index; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Supermarket; Superstore; Discount store; Japan's economy; Japanese retail stores


  • Competition from supermarkets
  • Mismanagement
  • Restructuring plans
  • New five-year medium-term plan

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