US apparel group Urban Outfitters is to exit China, joining a growing list of international brands to scale back their ambitions in the notoriously challenging market.
However the terms of its departure are unclear after the company posted a statement on Chinese social media saying the move was “temporary” and described it as a result of a global readjustment of its sales strategy.
Urban Outfitters has told its Tmall customers that its products would be removed from sale on September 12 and customer service would be discontinued after September 24.
The group owns and retails a portfolio of global consumer brands including Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, Nuuly and Menus & Venues. Its Tmall store has 1.14 million followers
According to the Business of Fashion, Urban Outfitters has no physical stores in China and is not available from any other e-commerce channels, which means its Tmall store closure would mark the brand’s departure from the country – at least for now.
Urban Outfitters’ decision follows the recent exit of global brands including New Look, Topshop, Old Navy and Asos. Inditex brands Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Berhka have closed all of their physical stores, maintaining an online-only presence, while Mango has frozen new store openings.