UK-based sandwich chain Pret A Manger is withdrawing from Japan after only 18 months there.

The company, which had plans to open 80 shops in Tokyo by the end of this year, closed its last shop in Japan at the end of March. At its peak, the company had 14 shops in the Tokyo area, reported the Financial Times.

Pret A Manger is believed to have misread consumer tastes, offering miso pork wraps and potato and bean baguettes when it opened its first shop, but soon abandoned such products in favour of clubhouse and toasted sandwiches, which were aimed at the expat traders, bankers and journalists who often visited the shop, the newspaper said.

“The Japanese people understand good food better than anyone in the world. We possibly went in too quickly,” said Pret A Manger’s CEO Clive Schlee.

Last November, McDonald’s Japan withdrew its 50% stake in Pret A Manger Japan, leaving it in financial difficulty. The sandwich chain failed to find other investors and was forced to begin closing its stores.

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