>Bosses of Japanese store giant Fast Retailing Co on Tuesday admitted their Uniqlo expansion drive in the UK was too "hasty" as they prepare to axe up to 80 per cent of the stores.

Masatoshi Morita, managing director of Fast Retailing and president of Fast Retailing (UK) Ltd, told Nikkei Weekly the company opened too many stores too quickly, chose poor locations and failed with its advertising campaign.

The firm recently announced plans to close 16 of its 21 outlets in the UK after less than two years and will instead focus on building the brand at its London stores before opening new outlets in the future.

"We were obsessed with our self-imposed goal of opening 50 outlets in the UK," Genichi Tamatsuka, president of Fast Retailing, told the paper.

"It was obvious that we were ill-prepared for the management of shops and training of local staff, and this impacted the balance sheet. In fact, as soon as we solved one problem, another erupted."