Japan apparel firm Onward to withdraw from S.Korea

Japanese apparel firm Onward Holdings says it will pull out of South Korea amid worsening relations between the two countries. The company says the decision is part of its global restructuring strategy.

Onward Holdings announced on Monday that it will shut 26 stores of its 23ku Golf brand in South Korea which have been struggling with sluggish sales since bilateral relations worsened.

The company said it plans to dissolve its local subsidiary and withdraw from the South Korean market.

The withdrawal is part of the firm's restructuring plan to close about 600 locations, or one fifth of its stores worldwide.

The company sells women's and men's apparel mainly at department stores. It is expected to post its first net loss in 11 years for the fiscal year ending in February.

As part of the restructuring plan, the firm will also scale down its businesses with Joseph brands in North America and Europe and close loss-making Jil Sander stores in Europe.

In Japan, Onward plans closures of 15 shops at shopping malls and its shop in Tokyo's Shibuya ward.