LONDON — Topshop has confirmed the closure of its five franchise locations in Japan, but is actively working to maintain its retail presence in the country.
Topshop said the stores, operated by Mori Retail Systems, closed at the end of January, but a spokeswoman for Topshop’s parent Arcadia Group Ltd. told WWD there are no plans to exit Japan.
“The Japanese market is an important part of Topshop’s business and there are no plans to pull out of this key international territory. We are working hard and exploring all avenues to ensure that the brand maintains its presence in Japan,” she said.
A spokesman for Mori Retail Systems, which helped spearhead the British chain’s expansion in Japan, said Mori’s partnership with Topshop ended in May of last year. Topshop declined to comment on its relationship with Mori.
The British retailer had major plans for Japan. In 2008, it signed over the Japanese rights to the brand to T’s, a new company jointly financed by Mori and JBF Partners. At that time, the companies said they planned to open “10 or more stores in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities within the next two to three years.” JBF could not be reached for comment.
Several years later, Topshop still had a relatively small presence in the country and was operating on a different scale than its rivals. H&M had 51 stores in Japan as of November, according to the Swedish retailer’s Web site. Forever 21 has 16 stores in the country and Inditex’s Zara has 22 locations in the Tokyo metropolitan area alone, according to both companies.