While Arcadia Group continues to expand Topshop's global empire through a combination of company-owned stores, department store concessions and franchise locations, it has reportedly cut back in some markets — that is to say, in Japan. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the British high street retailer closed all five of its Japan stores at the end of January.
"The Japanese market is an important part of Topshop’s business and there are no plans to pull out of this key international territory," a rep for Arcadia Group said in a statement to Fashionista. "The stores in Japan are operated by one of Topshop’s franchise partners. We are working hard, and exploring all avenues, to ensure that the brand maintains its presence in Japan."
After opening its first shop in Japan in 2006, Topshop partnered in 2008 with Mori Building System Co., a real estate group that has also worked with LVMH on development ventures in Tokyo, to roll out more locations through a newly formed company called T's, which would hold exclusive Topshop marketing rights in Japan. According to a statement from Mori published in October, 2008, the plan was to establish "10 or more outlets in Tokyo and major Japanese cities within the next two or three years."
So that didn't exactly pan out. As WWD reports, Mori's involvement with Topshop ended in May.
We'll be watching to see what Topshop's next move is, be that signing on with another franchise partner, going the shop-in-shop route or opening up its own operation.
Update: This article has been updated to include comment from Arcadia Group's spokesperson.