Retailers in Japan are coming under fire as Polo Ralph Lauren Japan Ltd tries to stamp out the trade of fake designer shirts.

The designer label have sent over 170 warnings to retailers telling them to stop selling shirts that they believe are fakes.

Although most stores have removed the shirts from sale many failed to return them to Polo Ralph Lauren and others refused to take them off their shelves until they had conducted their own enquiries.

This is not the first time that Polo Ralph Lauren Ltd has had trouble with stores selling fakes.

Four years ago the US arm of the company filed a lawsuit against Jeans Mate, a company that had continued to sell fake products despite repeated warnings from Polo Ralph Lauren. The two firms settled out of court.

The whole affair came to light in Japan after one supermarket chain, Jusco Co, ran an advertisement in the local paper advising customers that it had sold fake goods and asking them to return them.

Other stores followed suit and allowed customers to return the fakes for reimbursement. The fakes were then given to Polo Ralph Lauren.

One store has said that it is returning alleged fakes to Polo Ralph Lauren as a gesture for customer concern, although it claims that the goods were purchased through the correct channels and are the real thing.