Apparel Maker Onward to Shut Underperforming Stores

Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese apparel maker Onward Holdings Co. <8016> said Friday it will close loss-making stores both at home and overseas.

The company did not disclose the number of stores to be shut. But it is expected to close about 600 stores, or 20 pct of the total, in the next three to five years, sources familiar with the matter said.

Onward aims to focus more on online sales as its main shops, which are located in department stores, are struggling to attract young consumers. The company runs brands such as 23ku and Kumikyoku for the female market and gotairiku for male customers.

Referring to physical stores, Onward President Michinobu Yasumoto said, "Having direct contact with customers is important but we'll focus on quality not numbers."

The company aims to team up with a leading global player with expertise in digital technologies and create a new brand jointly with it, Yasumoto said at a press conference.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press