Uniqlo to generate more revenue overseas than at home in Japan for first time in 2018

With 100 new stores planned in China, the market ‘holds huge potential and will be a target growth engine’, says Japanese retailer

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 October, 2017, 4:17pm

Uniqlo, the Japanese casual wear brand, expects to see its revenue generated from international markets overtake its domestic income for the first time a year from now, underlining the Asian retailers ambitions to grow its overseas network, including a new 100 stores in Greater China by next August.

Fast Retailing, the world’s third largest retailer – whose main brands include Uniqlo, lower-priced GU casual fashion, and New York-based Theory – said thanks to a “strong performance” especially in Greater China and Southeast Asia, net annual profit to August soared 148.2 per cent to 119.2 billion yen (US$1.065 billion) compared with a year ago.

Pan Ning, vice-president of Uniqlo Greater China, said the area holds huge potential and will be a target growth engine for the company.

“Some company executive have said before that our ultimate goal should be 3,000 stores in China,” he added.

Founded in 1963 by Japanese billionaire Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing is one of Asia’s largest retail store chains.

The company now has a foothold in around 18 region and countries and is already one of the most popular Japanese causal wear brands in China, although it has seen declines in its home market sales, which it blamed on a rise of labour costs and materials.

Its Japanese annual operating profit fell 6.4 per cent, compared with a 95.4 per cent and 47.5 per cent increases in its international markets and global brands segments.

Nearly 180 more Uniqlo stores are planned in 2018, 100 in Greater China, while only 30 stores are earmarked for Japan, which will be offset by 30 store closures in the country during the period.