Days after a sex video filmed in Uniqlo's Beijing store blew up the Chinese Internet, the Japanese apparel retailer says it has closed its flagship store on JD.com.
The store was shuttered on July 20, 2015, after only three months of operation. On April 8, 2015, Uniqlo and JD signed a cooperation agreement and Uniqlo's Internet flagship store officially started operation on JD.com on April 17, 2015.
A couple of weeks ago, a video circulated on the Internet that was allegedly filmed in the changing room of one of Uniqlo's Beijing stores. The video showcases a man and a woman engaging in sexual activities. Over the past week, Chinese authorities announced they have detained at least five individuals in connection with the filming and dissemination of the retail store video.
While the video's distribution and the closure of the store come at the same time, the decision to close the JD.com store appears unrelated to the coital cloud hanging over the Japanese brand.
As Uniqlo is the first international apparel brand that entered JD's warehousing system, JD also reportedly came across difficulties in providing more detailed product batch management services to the Japanese company. To support Uniqlo, JD offered whole-process services from warehousing to delivery as well as full-channel operating supports covering PC and mobile devices. In addition, JD established an exclusive warehouse for Uniqlo in Shanghai which could store up to one million sets of clothing. The warehouse boasted efficient delivery services across China and consumers in some regions could receive a delivery in only six hours.
Uniqlo explained that the two parties aimed to provide the best services to customers, but they found issues that need to be further discussed and improved during the operating period. Uniqlo says it gained JD's mutual consent to terminate their existing cooperation.
Uniqlo's online sales channels only include its official website and Tmall flagship store. Tmall.com is run by Alibaba, which is a direct JD.com competitor.