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Shimane Prefecture’s only department store, ‘Ichibata Department Store’, closes due to deteriorating performance and market changes – disappearing from the landscape of local cities.

Ichibata Department Store, the only department store in Shimane Prefecture, has closed its doors on the 14th, ending its classical history. The decline in performance over the past few years and changes in the market were factors in the closure.

Ichibata Department Store was located in front of JR Matsue Station in Matsue City, and has been a familiar presence for the people of Shimane Prefecture for many years. Since its opening in 1956, many residents and tourists have visited, playing an important social role.

On the day of closure, numerous customers who lamented the closing came to the store, making their final purchases while reminiscing about the memories of the store. According to reports, it is estimated that approximately 12,000 people visited the store on the final day.

With the closure of Ichibata Department Store, Shimane Prefecture has followed Yamagata and Tokushima prefectures becoming the third prefecture in Japan without a department store. This reflects the economic difficulties faced by department stores, mainly in urban areas, due to the rise of large shopping malls and online shopping.

The closure of the store has ended not only the history of Ichibata Department Store, which has been kept for 65 years, but also the bonds with many customers. While this reflects the new retail situation in the city, it also indicates another example of department stores gradually disappearing from the landscapes of regional cities.

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