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Sogo Co., Ltd. (株式会社そごう Kabushiki Kaisha Sogō?) is a department store chain that operates an extensive network of branches in Japan. It once owned stores in locations as diverse as Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Beijing in mainland China, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Taipei in Taiwan, Jakarta, Medan, Bali, Bandung, Tangerang, Samarinda & Surabaya in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand, London in United Kingdom, but most of these international branches are now operated by independent franchises.
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).
Sogo also has two main stores in Beijing. The store located in Beijing's southern district is one of the largest and most prestigious department stores in the city.
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).
Other Sogo Department stores in Mainland 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.
Following Sogo Group's collapse, 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 2006 Pacific Sogo found itself in the midst of a corruption scandal over gift certificates involving the family of Republic of China'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.
Sogo Indonesia, is operated by PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk. All stores are located in high-end shopping malls Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall 2, Mal Kelapa Gading 3, Emporium Pluit Mall, Central Park, Kota Kasablanka, and Lippo Mall Puri in Jakarta; Plaza Tunjungan and Mall Galaxy Extension in Surabaya; Bali Collection and Discovery Shopping Mall in Bali; Mall @ Alam Sutera in Tangerang ;Sun Plaza in Medan; Big Mall Samarinda in Samarinda; and Paris van Java in Bandung.
Sogo Supermarket are featured in most stores except in Bali Collection, Discovery Shopping Centre, Central Park Jakarta and Emporium Mall. The use of Sogo Supermarket has been phased out progressively with the introduction of the Sogo Foodhall as a modern supermarket concept. The first new concept store opened in 2005 in conjunction with Pondok Indah Mall. Foodhall supermarket are also located in Senayan City (as part of Debenhams department store), Grand Indonesia (as part of Seibu department store), Mall @ Alam Sutera (Tangerang), and Mal Kelapa Gading.
The first Indonesia Sogo store was opened in 1990 at Plaza Indonesia. The store was later closed in February 2006 for the renovation of Plaza Indonesia while Sogo Supermarket stayed in operation, later renamed The Food Hall Gourmet. The Sogo flagship store and management office were moved to Plaza Senayan, currently the largest store with six levels.
SOGO, Kuala Lumpur (also known as KL SOGO) is a large single department store in Malaysia. It is located at a site formerly occupied by Suleiman Courts apartments located at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the main shopping streets of Kuala Lumpur. KL SOGO commenced business on 18 January 1994.
Once located at one of the busiest shopping centres, Raffles City, the Singapore flagship store was closed in 2000 due to the bankcrupcy of Sogo Japan. The space has since been occupied by Singapore's Robinsons.
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.
- "Sogo Taiwan". Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- "H.K. tycoons to buy H.K. Sogo's prime site, store". Asian Economic News. January 8, 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- "Taiwan's Chen in corruption case". BBC News. November 3, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- "Sogo Indonesia - MAP". Retrieved 2011-08-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sogo.|
- (Japanese) SOGO Japan
- (Japanese) Millennium Retailing
- (Chinese) SOGO Hong Kong
- (Chinese) Pacific SOGO Taiwan (Taipei, Chungli, Hsinchu, Kaoshiung)
- (Chinese) Kuan San SOGO Taiwan (Taichung)
- (English) SOGO Indonesia, PT. Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk.
- (English) SOGO Kuala Lumpur (KL SOGO), Malaysia
- (Vietnamese) SOGO Vietnam
- (Chinese) SOGO Web Directory