Well, one explanation is that it was an unfortunate series of landlord-related events that's all too common in Shanghai. The Xintiandi location was taken back for the big renovation and repositioning Xintiandi's south block is currently undertaking. The Taixing Lu location fell in the takeback of Zhangyuan that also claimed a Little Catch, the first Tomatito and others. The Huashan Lu location was redeveloped into an upgraded building; the old Sproutworks location is now a Starbucks.
That's three places that were closed before they were able to recoup all their investment, and that took a hit on the company as a whole, both financially and psychologically. It's hard being shut down. Have it happen to you three times, especially when business was doing well (Huashan) to awesome (Xintiandi), and you might not want to keep pumping money into it either. And that's the long and short of it. They didn't miss the trend; they didn't fluff up the execution. By all accounts, they should still be going. Take it as a reminder that running a restaurant is rarely as easy as cooking a bit of food and finding servers to deliver it. Managing real estate is just as important. Sometimes the best you can hope for is a decent pun in the obituary.