Japanese retail deal set

DAIEI, Japan's largest retailer, has made a new deal to expand its sales-and-merchandising influence through a home-based joint venture involving its rival Takashimaya and Au Printemps of Paris.

The two Osaka-based retailing groups are expected to become minority-percentage shareholders in a plan to open up French-style department stores throughout Japan. The 25-year-old DAIEI group already produces annual sales of over $5 billion (US); its No. 3 national partner-to-be, Takashimaya, reaches $2 billion (US).

Negotiations on the new retailing arrangement have been under way for over a year. Takashimaya, through prior contract, has already begun s elling Au Printemps goods in its Japanese units.

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