Sunday, October 02, 2005

Afour

Yes, the Mitsukoshi A4 on Taipei's east side is officially open now, and I went for a quick visit before this weekend's typhoon hit.
I must say, the part that impressed me the most was the floor that had nothing to do with fashions and clothes: the underground food hall, with its colorful Spanish and Italian products.
But let's get back to fashion. Yes, the brands I mentioned before are housed on the first floor, Balenciaga, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod's, aslo Marc Jacobs, Sonya Rykiel and Anya Hindmarch. In the middle of the first floor hall, you have all the usual cosmetics brands.
The second floor runs from Ralph Lauren to agnes b. and has a lonely Haagen Dazs tucked away in a corner like there wasn't any space left in the food hall, it had to emigrate to the fashion section. The higher you go in the building, the less famous the brands get.
So all in all, while the department store is glitzy, bright and clean, its content could've been more exciting. In the end, the Mitsukoshi A4 is just another department store, and not much different from say, the Idee on Nanjing West Road. I noticed there's another plot of land nearby marked A13. Room for another Mitsukoshi? Anyway, one construction project by the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi people in the area is not a department store, but an international hotel.
As the A4 opens, the other major shopping heavens in Taipei are not sitting still, as October 1 marks the start of a month-long sales period. Most stores offer you goodies if you spend a certain amount, and often it's money, like 300 New Taiwan dollars if you spend 3,000, 500 if you spend 5,000, and so on.
We're still looking out for the new Louis Vuitton on Chungshan North Road and the Gioia Pan boutique next to the Grand Formosa Regent, but they both seem to be taking more time to complete than expected.

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