Editors' Note

New tenants to former Harajuku GAP site

02.15.2011

Last November, Tokyu Land began construction of the Omotesando Project (tentative name) at the former site of the apparel brand GAP’s Harajuku store. Among parties concerned with commercial facilities, many rumors spread concerning who will move in as tenants. This was quite interesting.
 
The former site of the GAP store is located at the corner of Omotesando Avenue and Meiji-dori Street, where many fashion brands are competing each other to attract young people.
 
When the 2,000 m2 site was a vacant lot around June of 2010, rumors spread that Shibuya 109, which is a fashion building operated by a subsidiary of Tokyu Corporation would expand its business and that its Harajuku-version under the name of “Harajuku 109” was to be born. Shibuya 109 is a fashion building which targets women in their late teens to early twenties, and it boasts overwhelming popularity among young women who hang around Shibuya known as “gyaru” (gals). If this had become a reality, Harajuku and Omotesando, which have welcomed various unique fashion styles, would have been enveloped in an extremely chaotic atmosphere by the birth of a “sacred spot” for such gyaru.
 
After Tokyu Land began construction of the facility, rumors in November 2010 were that the flagship store of Tommy Hilfiger, the surf brand of Abercrombie & Fitch named Hollister, and American Eagle Outfitters would move in as tenants. Since the Omotesando store of Ralph Lauren is located close by, it raised my hopes that an American casual fashion village would be created in Omotesando.
 
At around the same time this rumor came out, Tokyu Land announced that the flagship store of Tommy Hilfiger will move in. My expectations for an American casual fashion village further increased. However, the editor in chief told me that there was a rumor that a certain luxury brand will move into the former site of the GAP store.
 
Certainly, the place where the former site of the GAP store is located is a spot where Meiji-dori Street, which is lined with casual fashion stores such as H&M and Forever 21, and Omotesando Avenue, which is crowded with luxury brands such as Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana, intersect. It did cross my mind that a mixing of casual brands with high-class brands was plausible. Before I knew it, I had picked up the phone and called the Japanese arm of that brand. However, they gave no comment.
 
In the end, the two American casual stores of American Eagle Outfitters and Tommy Hilfiger along with the flagship store of Baroque Japan Limited, which has brands that match the tastes of Shibuya 109, were decided on as the tenants and no more rumors have been heard.
 
Completion of the facility is scheduled for March 2012.
 
 
(Yoshimaro Tamura)
 
 


[Related articles]
- Plans for former Omotesando GAP site revealed

- Tokyu Land to develop retail building on former Harajuku GAP site

 
 

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