Versace closes its last three shops in Japan

The fashion house Gianni Versace is to close its last three Japanese stores, after demand for its luxury goods slumped in the world's second-biggest economy.

"The Versace boutiques in Japan no longer represented the brand image and it was felt to be more advantageous for the company to close them and start with a clean slate," it said yesterday.

The move is part of a wider strategy review, although the company added that it was looking for "new locations and more suitable distribution channels" in Japan, which it entered in 1981. The store closures follow Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's decision to shelve plans for an outlet in Ginza, one of Tokyo's most affluent shopping areas. Japan was long seen as a key market for luxury brands, but for some it is losing its lustre compared to Hong Kong and Singapore.