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Topshop said to have shuttered all Japanese stores

By Vivian Hendriksz


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It seems as if British high street retailer Topshop may not be big in Japan after all. The fashion chain has reportedly closed all five of its stores in Japan, with local store operators claiming that the store's future within the country remains unclear.

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Topshop shut down both flagship stores in Tokyo, which now have signs hanging on their doors stating they are shut as of January 31, 2015. The store in Mirraza Shinjuku, close to Shinjuku Station is reportedly still full of merchandise, according to WWD, whilst Topshop's store in Laforet Mall, in Harajuku is empty due to ongoing maintenance at the complex.

The shopping center claims it was suddenly informed on the evening of January 30 that the Topshop unit would not open from February onwards. Other Topshop locations at Colette Mare in Yokohama, Aeon Mall Makuhari New City in Chiba and Lucua, in Osaka have also been closed without prior warning.

Topshop reportedly set to exit Japan

Topshop, owned by parent company Arcadia Group Limited, previously had plans to make it big in Japan, opening its first stores in 2006. Then in 2008, the group handed over the rights to Topshop to a new company known as T's, which was jointly financed by Mori Retail Systems and JBF Partners.

The company aimed to open "ten or more stores in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities within the next two to three years," at the time. However, 7 years down the line, it seems as if Topshop may have be overly ambitious with its plans to expand within the country.

A spokesperson for Mori Retail system, confirmed to WWD that they had ended their partnership with Topshop last May and only oversaw the operation of the retail unit in Harajuku. The spokesperson noted that Mori had been told on January 30 that the store in Harajuku would be shut at the end of the next day, even though the store's lease was not due to expire until the end of February. Topshop's management informed him this decision was partly to due with a lack of store staff, which had shrunken to a point where the fashion retailer was unable to run the store.

Topshop's store operator T's previously reported sales of 3.5 billion yen (19.64 million pounds) for the year which ended February 2014, according to a private to a private-sector credit research company. However, over the past year local sales have declined.

With a number of international fast-fashion labels pushing into Japan, such as H&M and Forever 21, who both operate store in the vicinity of Topshop's location in Laforet, Harajuku, pressure for Topshop to perform well has been mounting. Increasing competition from local Japanese fashion retailers may have also played a role in Topshop's quiet withdrawal.

Topshop continues to trade online in Japan via fashion retailer Zozotown.

acardia group
mori retail systems