VERSACE has revealed that, after nearly 30 years operating there, it is set to pull out of Japan - ceasing all retail operations there by the end of the month.
The Italian label's withdrawal, which included the closure of four standalone stores and its Tokyo office, appears to confirm the consumer slump currently being experienced by one of the world's largest luxury markets - and hints that the recovery may not be swift.
Versace is not the only luxury label to experience the sharp end of Japan's declining market, LVMH - owner of some of Japan's most popular labels including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and Emilio Pucci - has also suffered a 20 per cent dip in sales in the first half of the year. In contrast, the company's sales in the rest of Asia increased by four per cent over the same period, the Financial Times reports, and contributed 24 per cent of LVMH's first half revenues versus Japan's 11 per cent.
Louis Vuitton has also cancelled plans to open its largest store the Ginza district of Tokyo next year; Marni closed a store in the Marunouchi area after nearly five years; whilst Chanel also closed a boutique in the southwestern district of Kyushu in the past year.
08 October 2009
It makes sense that Asia's sales in luxury goods have risen, but having stores fail in Japan was unexpected. It's a luxury label capital, they love it out there, so has the recession really affected Japan so much that the Japanese will have to revert to fakes?