Uwajimaya, Seattle’s Japanese grocery chain, celebrates newly remodeled flagship store

Top view of front checkstands at Uwajimaya store in Seattle’s historic Chinatown International District.

SEATTLE, Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Seattle’s iconic Asian grocery chain, Uwajimaya celebrated the completion of its newly remodeled flagship store this week in Seattle’s historic Chinatown-International District, featuring enhanced departments for a new shopping experience, new product offerings and an updated look and feel for the specialty store.

“For the past year, we’ve been meticulously focused on reimagining our Seattle store with elements that revolutionize the shopping experience while keeping the deep connection to our rich 90-year history,” said Denise Moriguchi, Uwajimaya CEO.

Updates to the store began in November 2019 with an emphasis on enriching the customer experience, enhancing departments, offerings and overall brand.

Highlights include a new sashimi island and poke bar, demo station, entry directly into the colorful produce department with views of the enhanced meat and seafood selections, updated and integrated home and beauty areas, improved shopping flow and check out experience, expanded deli offerings, energy efficient refrigeration, equipment and lighting, and more.

The current Seattle store is in its 20th year of operation in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, however, this wasn’t the first Seattle Uwajimaya location.

Uwajimaya opened in 1946, three blocks north on S. Main Street. It moved two blocks north in 1970 where it remained until 2000 when the store moved a block north to its current home on 5th Avenue S.

The very first Uwajimaya store was opened in Tacoma, Washington in the 1930s before WWII. The family was forced to leave Tacoma for Tule Lake Internment Camp during the war and settled in Seattle to start again after the war.

“We had great partners to make our vision reality,” said Miye Moriguchi, Uwajimaya Development Manager.

Alongside a team of experts including Hoshide Wanzer Architects, Cushing Terrell (Store Planning and Engineering) and Abbott Construction, Uwajimaya developed plans for the Seattle store that would not only highlight quality products and best selection items, but also balance the experience and ease of shopping with improved security and safety—crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the next month Uwajimaya will be celebrating this milestone through social media and in-store specials.

In addition, curbside delivery is now available at all Uwajimaya stores. For more information including COVID-19 safety measures, store hours and more visit www.uwajimaya.com.

About Uwajimaya
Uwajimaya Inc. (uwajimaya.com) is a family-owned and operated food retailer, wholesaler and real estate developer located in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1928 Uwajimaya operates four Premium Asian Markets (Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, WA and Beaverton, OR), a wholesale division (Food Service International) as well as a real estate division which recently developed the Publix apartments and commercial space. The company employs close to 500 people today.