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Sogo Co., Ltd. (株式会社そごう, Kabushiki gaisha Sogō) was a department store chain that operates an extensive network of branches in Japan. In 2009, it merged with The Seibu Department Stores, Ltd. (株式会社西武百貨店) to become Sogo & Seibu Co., Ltd. (株式会社そごう・西武). It once owned stores in locations as diverse as Beijing in China, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Taipei in Taiwan, Jakarta & Surabaya in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand, London in United Kingdom, but most of these international branches are now closed or operated by independent franchises.
|Kabushiki Kaisha Sogō|
|Founded||1830 in Osaka, Japan|
Number of employees
In July 2000, the company faced financial troubles caused by the reckless real estate investment policy of the former chairman, Hiroo Mizushima, and the collapse of Japanese real estate prices since the mid-1980s. The group collapsed under a debt mountain of US$17 billion, owed principally to Industrial Bank of Japan. Sogo applied to Osaka District Court under the Civil Rehabilitation Law on July 12, 2000. It has had to divest itself of unprofitable business lines, as well as valuable assets such as several stores in Japan (e.g., Kokura and Kurosaki) and some overseas stores, including ones in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Taipei.
Other overseas Sogo stores survived under independent franchises, through which the Japanese company has also managed to raise capital.
In Japan, Sogo is a subsidiary of Millennium Retailing (now renamed as Sogo & Seibu).
The Sogo logoEdit
Since its founding in 1830 Sogo has used as their logo, the family crest ( mon (emblem) ) of a silk shop. The logo consists of a circle with a shape inside that depicts winding the warp on a loom (called 'chikiri' in Japanese), a nod to the company's origin as a second-hand kimono shop. The word 'Chikiri' in Japanese, also relates to the act of taking a vow or promise.
Although bearing the exact same shape and form, it is unrelated to the contemporary symbol of the Extinction Rebellion.
As for 2018, Sogo Department Store in Japan were located in Yokohama, Chiba, Hiroshima, Omiya, Kawaguchi, Seishin and Tokushima.
In August 2020, Sogo will close its stores in Seishin and Tokushima, while closing the Kawaguchi store in February 2021 due to poor sales.
|Kanto region||Kansai & Chugoku region|
|Saitama (Omiya, Kawaguchi (closed in 2021))||Hiroshima (Hiroshima)|
Sogo Department stores in China are operated by Taiwan-based Pacific Sogo with an additional store in Beijing, three in Shanghai, two in Chengdu, two in Chongqing and one in Dalian, as of August 2007. It appears that all of the branches have shut down.
Jiuguang Department StoreEdit
In 2004, Jiuguang Department Store in Shanghai was opened as a joint venture between Lifestyle International Holdings of Hong Kong, the owner of Sogo Hong Kong and the state-owned Joinbuy Group of Shanghai. The department store is located in the fashionable Jing'an District adjacent to the Jing'an Temple, on West Nanjing Road. The store operation is a clone of the Sogo in Hong Kong including the high-end supermarket Freshmart and Beaute @ Jiuguang (instead of Beaute @ Sogo).
The store also brought in some very exclusive designers, a lot of which had their first counter in Mainland China such as Thomas Pink, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. Currently, besides Shanghai, Jiuguang also opened in Suzhou and Dailan.
The Causeway Bay store on Hong Kong Island opened in 1985. The store itself was colloquially referred as "Jumbo Sogo" after its subsequent expansion. Following Sogo Group's collapse after the Asian financial crisis, the business of Sogo Hong Kong, including the 40,500-square-meter retail property located in Causeway Bay, was sold for US$453.6 million to two local billionaires, Thomas Lau of Chinese Estates and Henry Cheng of Chow Tai Fook Enterprises when the Japanese Sogo went bankrupt. They took Sogo public by injecting this asset into Lifestyle International in 2004.
Sogo Hong Kong Co. Ltd, the Sogo franchisee, now operates one additional store in Tsim Sha Tsui, which opened on September 30, 2005, marking the 25th anniversary of Sogo in Hong Kong. The Causeway Bay store has had an extension built, which opened on November 22, 1993, and carries items in all product categories within a 15-story building. It has opened the Sogo Club, Sogo Book club, and a new annex building named Beauté by Sogo. The Tsim Sha Tsui branch focuses on designer fashions.
Lifestyle International Holdings Limited, the holding company of SOGO, was listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on 15 April 2004.
In Indonesia, Sogo is operated by PT Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk (which also operates Sogo's sister department store chain Seibu). The first Indonesia Sogo store was opened in 1990 at Plaza Indonesia. The store was later closed in February 2006 due to the renovation of the shopping mall. The Sogo flagship store and management office were moved to Plaza Senayan, currently the largest store with six levels. All stores are located in high-end shopping malls in Indonesia, listed below.
|Plaza Senayan||Mall @ Alam Sutera||Galaxy Mall 2||Discovery Shopping Mall||Big Mall Samarinda||Sun Plaza||Paris van Java|
|Pondok Indah Mall 2||Supermal Karawaci||Tunjungan Plaza 4||Bali Collection||Pentacity Balikpapan||Deli Park|
|Mal Kelapa Gading 3||Pakuwon Mall|
|Emporium Pluit Mall|
|Lippo Mall Puri|
PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk., synonymously known as MAP, also operated supermarket The Foodhall, previously known as Sogo Supermarket. The Sogo Supermarket brand, introduced in Plaza Indonesia since its opening in 1990, has been phased out progressively with the introduction of the Sogo Foodhall as a modern supermarket concept, before renaming it into The Foodhall Gourmet as Sogo Plaza Indonesia closed down. The first new concept store opened in 2005 in conjunction with the opening of its Pondok Indah Mall branch, and eventually evolved into The Foodhall today. The supermarket that operated as part of Sogo are located below.
|Plaza Senayan||Mall @ Alam Sutera|
|Pondok Indah Mall 2|
|Mal Kelapa Gading 3|
|Lippo Mall Puri|
The Foodhall is also located in Senayan City (as part of now closed Debenhams department store), Grand Indonesia (as part of Seibu department store), and Central Park's extension, Neo Soho Mall. Other branches of The Foodhall are either standalone, operating independently inside a mall without any MAP-operated department stores, or operated under Daily Foodhall brand. Unlike The Foodhall for upper-class consumers, Daily Foodhall is operated for middle-class consumers. Daily Foodhall opened as part of Sogo on Paris Van Java in 2014, despite located in its extension.
Sogo stores that didn't include the supermarket are listed below
|Central Park||Supermal Karawaci||Pentacity Balikpapan||Sun Plaza||Tunjungan Plaza||Discovery Shopping Mall|
|Kota Kasablanka||Big Mall Samarinda||Deli Park||Galaxy Mall||Bali Collection|
|Emporium Pluit Mall||Pakuwon Mall|
Some stores also feature Planet Sports, Kidz Station (both MAP's inhouse brands) and Chatterbox Cafe. A Books Kinokuniya store was used to be located in the upper level of Sogo Plaza Senayan as its Indonesian flagship store, but closed in April 1, 2021.
SOGO presently has three stores in Malaysia. The first store, known as KL SOGO, is located along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Connected to the Bandaraya LRT station by a link bridge, it sits on the site formerly occupied by Suleiman Courts. The SOGO store commenced business on 18 January 1994. It has a basement parking for visitors to park their car (SOGO KL parking rate)
Sogo's second store in Malaysia, located at the Central i-City shopping mall in Padang Jawa, Shah Alam, opened on 11 April 2019, followed by the third store at The Mall - Midvalley Southkey in Johor Bahru, opened on 23 April 2019.
The operator, Sogo (KL) Department Store Sdn Bhd, also announced plans to open new stores in Paragon @ KL Northgate in Selayang, and GEM Megamall in Seberang Perai, Penang. It also plans to open a Seibu store in Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) Lifestyle Quarter in Kuala Lumpur.
Once located at one of the busiest shopping centres, Raffles City, the Singapore flagship store was closed in 2000 due to the bankruptcy of Sogo Japan. The space has since been occupied by Singapore's Robinsons. Sogo also once anchored Orchard Road's Paragon and DBS Building in Tampines. The DBS Building is now Tampines One, while Metro replaces Sogo in Paragon.
In 2006 Pacific Sogo found itself in the midst of a corruption scandal over gift certificates involving the family of Taiwan's former President Chen Shui-Bian. In October 2006, Wu Shu-chen (the former President's wife) was cleared by court of accepting vouchers from Pacific Sogo in return for her influence.
Due to its ownership, Pacific Sogo brand was renamed into Far East Sogo in 2016, while the corporate name is still named Pacific SOGO Department Stores Co., Ltd. The company targeted Far East Sogo for middle-up to high-end customers, alongside its flagship brand, Far Eastern Department Stores, targeted for low-middle and middle customers, and The Mall, targeted for high-end customers.
Kuan San Sogo, located in Taichung, is not related to Pacific Sogo.
SOGO-Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
- "Former Chairman Held Responsible For Japanese Retailer's $100 Million Debts". BBC World Service. July 27, 2000. Retrieved 2007-03-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "History". SOGO / SEIBU CORPORATION. SOGO / SEIBU Corporation. Retrieved 17 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "SEIBU SEIBU SOGO". www.sogo-seibu.jp.e.ld.hp.transer.com. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
- "Sogo Taiwan". Retrieved 2007-08-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "H.K. tycoons to buy H.K. Sogo's prime site, store". Asian Economic News. January 8, 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Foodhall Indonesia - Store Location - Daily Foodhall Paris Van Java Bandung". Retrieved 2016-10-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Sogo - Opens 11 April - 11:00 am". 6 April 2019.
- "Central i-City - New Everyday Experience". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
- "S'poreans can finally visit SOGO again nearly 2 decades after it left". mothership.sg. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
- "Taiwan's Chen in corruption case". BBC News. November 3, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sogo.|
- (in Japanese) Millennium Retailing
- (in Chinese) SOGO Hong Kong
- (in Chinese) Pacific SOGO Taiwan (Taipei, Chungli, Hsinchu, Kaoshiung)
- (in Chinese) Kuan San SOGO Taiwan (Taichung)
- (in English) SOGO Indonesia, PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk.
- (in English) SOGO Kuala Lumpur (KL SOGO), Malaysia
- (in Vietnamese) SOGO Vietnam
- (in Chinese) SOGO Web Directory