Uniqlo September same-store sales surge 31.6%

TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Fast Retailing (9983.T) said on Friday 2 October that same-store sales at its Uniqlo casual-clothing chain in Japan jumped 31.6 percent from a year earlier in September, marking the biggest monthly gain in 10 months.


The fashion retailer's strong sales came amid prolonged weak consumer spending, which has hit department stores and supermarkets.

The company said the onset of cold weather in the month helped drive up sales of autumn items such as synthetic leather jackets and flannel shirts. A five-day weekend also helped increase customer traffic, it said.

The company, which is scheduled to announce its full-year results on Thursday 1 October, has forecast a 23 percent increase in operating profit for the year ended in August.

During the same period, same-store sales at about 640 Uniqlo outlets in Japan rose 11.3 percent.

The company's robust sales are in stark contrast with other retailers in the country.

Shares of Japan's top department store chains fell sharply on Friday 2 October after they reported a decline in September sales, with industry leader Isetan Mitsukoshi's (3099.T) Isetan chain posting a 10.9 percent fall. Isetan Mitsukoshi shares ended down 4.9 percent at 970 yen.

Prior to the announcement, shares of Fast Retailing fell 1 percent to 11,780 yen, outperforming a 2.3 percent decline in the Tokyo stock exchange's retail subindex .IRETL.T. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka)

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