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Retail retreat: Japan apparel group Onward to shut 20% of stores

Company sheds brick and mortar to invest more in growing online segment

An Onward store in Tokyo: the retailer has relied heavily on department store and shopping center locations. (Photo courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- Midsize Japanese clothing retailer Onward Holdings will close around a fifth of its stores worldwide, pivoting toward e-commerce as its mainstay brick-and-mortar locations struggle to attract customers.

The company, which sells mainly at department stores and shopping malls in Japan, will shutter about 600 of its more than 3,000 locations.

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