Topshop, the fashion brand controlled by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group, is to end its franchise agreement with Chinese partner Shangpin “by mutual agreement” less than two years after promising to open up to 80 stores there.

The two companies started working together online in September 2014 and in December 2016 announced that they would open an initial five stores in the company. At the time, Sir Philip described the deal as “the start of a unique, exciting and exclusive partnership” and said that another 75 outlets could follow depending on the performance of the first five. None of the stores ended up opening.

In January this year, China Daily quoted Shangpin as saying it would open over 100 stores over the next five years.

The UK group’s products will remain available on the Shangpin and Tmall.com websites until the end of November. A spokesman declined to elaborate on the reasons for the termination but said that the group still considered China “a hugely significant market for development.”

“The company is currently exploring opportunities to further grow the brands in China.”

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