Seibu Department Stores Ltd (株式会社西武百貨店) is a Japanese Department Store company that opened in 1949. Today, Seibu is now owned and operated by Millenium Retailing and is one of the major department stores in Japan today.
Seibu’s history stretches back to the origins of its Railway Company roots when, in 1915, Seibu Railway Company opened a supermarket inside of Ikebukuro Station. After the supermarket was built, it was incredibly successful, but disaster struck in 1962 when a fire broke out on the Seventh floor due to an accident involving insecticide. The fire killed 7 people and led to the closing of the shop for multiple weeks. When it reopened, the store was too busy to handle its customer load and had to shut down once more.
Shortly thereafter, Seibu Department Stores were opened throughout Japan. In the 1970s multiple locations were launched and became a premiere destination for shopping in Japan. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s when it was run by Seiji Tsutumi, Seibu was home to multiple different art exhibits, galleries, and other cultural keystones. The company later suffered greatly under the downturn of the economy and was forced in 2003 to consolidate under its $2 billion debt with revamps and closing of seven of its twenty store locations. In the same year, Seibu merged with its long time rival, Sogo Co. and the current holding company, Millennium Retailing, was formed, which now owns majority share of Seibu. Seibu’s current president is Fumiaki Osaki and its top competitors in the market include Isetan, Takashimaya, and J.Front.
In Japan, the flagship store for Seibu is located in Ikebukuro, and two additional Tokyo stores are located in Shibuya and Yurakucho. Sixteen additional stores are located in Japan with a total income of more than $5 Billion every year. Specialty shops within Seibu’s brand name include Loft and Shell Garden and other department stores that Seibu owns and operates under the Seibu Saison Group name include Parco and Muji.
Additional Seibu locations are found in Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui, Langham Place, and Pacific Place. Additionally, Seibu is located in Indonesia where it has a flagship store in the Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, one of the most elaborate department stores in Indonesia today.