The lack of tourists from China may have partially prompted Japanese casual fashion brand Uniqlo's plan to close and relocate a store in a main shopping area of Osaka next month, tourism industry practitioners said on Tuesday, underscoring rising impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on foreign businesses that rely heavily on Chinese tourists.
In a notice, Uniqlo said that "the store of Uniqlo in Shinsaibashi is scheduled to be closed on August 1. It will be relocated to the same facility of GU and reopened in September."
The area of Shinsaibashi, which used to attract crowds of local people and foreign tourists, has faced a decline in visitors due to the coronavirus.
"Many popular fashion and cosmetics brands opened stores in the shopping area. That pushed rents up pretty high, and some shops just can't afford it anymore because of the coronavirus," Zhang Jian, a tourism industry practitioner in Japan, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
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