Uniqlo September sales fall as warm weather dents early autumn offer
September was a good month for Uniqlo on some fronts, with the Fast Retailing-owned chain opening its first Italian store on Piazza Cordusio in Milan, and also announcing a new sustainability initiative based on technology introduced by Toray. But it was less good on the sales front with its Japanese stores seeing falling like-for-like sales.
Sales, including its online operation, dropped by 4.2% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis, while total sales for the brand fell a slightly bigger 4.3%.
Uniqlo is one of the world's strongest retailers and has shown itself perfectly able to create products that consumers really want. But there's one thing that it can't control and that's the weather. The story of its monthly sales fluctuations this year has been all about temperatures and whether it's spring, summer, autumn or winter, they need to be just right in order to spur the desire to spend on volume basics among shoppers.
In September, they weren't just right and the “persistently warm weather throughout the month” didn't help the company as its autumn offer dropped in-store.
The pattern of the last few months shows just how vulnerable the company is to the weather. Its sales rose in June, then fell in July, rising again in August, all because of the particular weather patterns at the time. It’s to be hoped that the current high temperatures in Japan don’t persist, although long-range forecasts suggest they could.
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