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Mitsuwa Marketplace added a store in Plano, TX in April 2017 and another in Waikiki, HI a month later to its nine existing locations across the United States. The Waikiki store was launched a few months earlier than the company’s initial plan.
Plano Store Launches with High Expectation
In the morning on April 14, hundreds of people lined up outside the store and waited for the much anticipated grand opening of the large Japanese grocery chain. The customers enjoyed the opening ceremony attended by the company’s executives and local leaders as well as exploring the 25,000-squre-foot space filled with Japanese groceries, products and restaurants.
Apparently Mitsuwa targets the increasing Japanese population in the area fueled by the recent relocation of Toyota North America headquarters; however it is still a small portion of the local demographics compared to other Asian origins such as Chinese and Korean. Taking the advantage of Toyota’s economic and cultural impact, the grocer aims to expand its market to non-Japanese audiences by introducing Japanese food as global cuisine.
The Plano store boasts a food hall called “deguStations” (work still underway as of late April) where shoppers can enjoy freshly prepared foods and gourmet items offered by the store and seven foodservice businesses (see the floor plan). With the variety of authentic Japanese menus, many of which can be found at Mitsuwa’s California stores, the food hall will provide convenient and affordable meal options for customers unfamiliar with Japanese cooking.
The in-store tenants include Ramen Santouka (Hokkaido-style ramen), Densetsu no Sutadonya (pork bowl), Tonkatsu Kaneda (pork cutlet), matcha LOVE by Ito en (green tea cafe), Jsweets (desserts), Lupicia Fresh Tea (tea specialty), Pullman Bakery and Books Kinokuniya.
The store is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm and the restaurants from 11:30 am to 8 pm.
Waikiki Store Enters Grocery Competition
The Waikiki store had its grand opening on May 15 at the International Market Place in the famous beachfront neighborhood. This is Mitsuwa’s first location in Hawaii, the state with large Japanese population and the major tourism destination for the Japanese nationals.
Smaller than the Texas, the 10,000-squre-foot store occupies two levels of the shopping center and offers a few of the same features including Santouka and matcha Love by Ito En. Waikiki is a competitive area for Japanese grocery retail where other chains such as Nijiya Market and Marukai Market operate several locations as well as local stores doing business for decades.
The store is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm and the restaurants from 11:00 am to 9:30 pm.
*List of Japanese Markets/Grocery Stores in Texas
Featured Image: Mitsuwa Marketplace Irvine by Nandaro