Two large Japanese department store chains, Isetan and Mitzukoshi, have signed an agreement in principle to merge into a single company that would become the largest department store group in the country, with a total annual turnover of 1.58 trillion yen. Called Mitsukoshi Isetan Holdings, it would be bigger than Takashimaya, J. Front Retailing and Matsuzakaya. Shareholders of Isetan and Mitzukoshi still have to approve the deal, which will probably be completed in 2008. Current terms call for Isetan’s shareholders to hold one share in the new joint company for each share they own, while those of Mitzukoshi would get 0.34 shares for each of their own shares.