Uniqlo experiences a difficult end of year
Fast Retailing’s subsidiary Uniqlo has just finished 2010 with a series of monthly sales declines. The Japanese market, which represents 80% of the chain’s total sales, fell by 15.5% in December.
The decline was a result of increasingly stronger local competition from Aeon (hypermarket) and Shimamura, as well as a fairly mild temperature for the season. While Uniqlo devoted a lot of its publicity towards warm clothing, featuring Hollywood stars such as Charlize Theron and Orlando Bloom in its campaigns, the Japanese enjoyed higher than normal temperatures.
Since the announcement on January 4th of its sales decline, Fast Retailing’s share price has also fallen. The preceding months had already shown a slowdown in sales, reporting a 24.7% fall in the month of September.
Last October, Fast Retailing announced that it was expecting a 14.3% decline in its operating profit until August 2011; a projection that was explained by the fall in Uniqlo’s sales. Net income could go down by 17.3% to 51 billion yens (467 million euros).
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