Isetan starts early retirement program

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. has introduced a new early retirement program to reduce its workforce, Toshihiko Sugie, president and chief executive officer of the Japanese department store operator, said on Tuesday.

The move is intended to cut the number of workers hired in Japan’s bubble economy era. The number of such workers is three to four times larger than in other generations, Sugie told a press conference.

The new program lowered the eligible age for manager-class workers to 48 from 50 and boosted the amount of retirement allowance by up to ¥50 million.

Isetan Mitsukoshi started soliciting applications for the program on Wednesday. It expects 800 to 1,200 workers to apply for the program over the next three years.

The company said its consolidated sales in the April-September fiscal first half rose 2.2 percent from a year before to ¥595,261 million, thanks to strong demand from visitors from abroad and rich people.

Operating profit climbed 25.4 percent to ¥7,649 million.

But net profit tumbled 99.8 percent to ¥18 million, due mainly to costs for the planned closure of a store in Chiba Prefecture in March next year.Speech

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