About JCSC

What is a SC?


What is a Shopping Center (SC)?

Unlike markets or downtown shopping areas which originate spontaneously, a shopping center is a commercial aggregate developed and planned according to a clear concept and managed as an integrated entity by a single managerial body.

SC consist of large stores such as , department stores, GMS (General Merchandise Stores), SM (Supermarkets), home centers and discount stores in addition to specialty stores (apparel and variety stores),restaurants and cafes, clinics, hotels, public and other service facilities.

The main types of SC encountered show a great degree of variety such as large scale retail facilities centered around department stores or GMS, integrated complexes combining theaters, hotels, public service facilities and the like but also fashion malls, station buildings, underground shopping arcades, outlet malls and power centers.

JCSC’s Standards for Shopping Centers

Shopping centers planned and developed by developers should observe the following requirements:

  1. The retail space covered by retail businesses should not be less than 1,500sq m.
  2. Shopping centers tenants should include, apart from anchor tenants, at least 10 tenants.
  3. As for anchor tenants, their area should not exceed 80% of the shopping center area.
    However, this restriction does not apply if the retail space of the retail businesses among the other tenants occupies 1,500 sq m or more.
  4. An association such as a Tenant Board (Store Association) or the like should be in place in order to conduct activities of common interest such as advertising and jointly held special events.

*Whereas the old standards required SC tenants to include at least 10 retail tenants, the new standards require SC tenants to include at least 10 tenants.

Historical Outline of SC in Japan

SC made their appearance in the 1920s in the US. From 1950 onward, they spread all over the country and are now considered commercial establishments essential to the daily life of the American people. The first SC was the ‘Country Club Plaza’ (opened in 1922 in Kansas City, Missouri) but the man who firmly established the SC as a business model was the Vienna-born Victor Gruen, author of a.o. ‘Shopping Towns USA’ (New York, 1960).

SC made their debut in Japan around 1965. The Tamagawa Takashimaya Shopping Center, said to be the first full-fledged SC in Japan, opened in 1969. Thereafter, due to the particular character of our retail markets and the development of peculiar Japanese forms of business, a large variety of SC types came into existence such as station buildings, underground shopping arcades, urban fashion malls and partnership SC.

Definition of ‘Shopping Center’

The definition of the phenomenon ‘SC’ tends to vary in proportion to the diversification of the SC themselves, due to environmental changes affecting contemporary trends and the business world. Our Association, the Japan Council of Shopping Centers (JCSC) first formulated a definition of the SC at the time of its establishment in 1974 with the aim of affording a better understanding of SC but decided in 1993, on the basis of prospects for the future, to reformulate this as follows:

‘A SC is an aggregate of business and service facilities planned, developed, owned and managed as a single entity and in many cases provided with a parking area. It has a role as an urban function being a community facility satisfying the needs of the residents by providing a variety of choices, conveniences, amenities and entertainment in accordance with its location, scale and composition.’

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