Fast Retailing, the parent company of popular clothing brand Uniqlo, recently announced its nine-month results for the period ending on May 31, 2020. The overall outlook appears grim due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are some positive developments when it comes to Uniqlo’s sales.

In June, Uniqlo experienced a significant surge in same-store sales, with a healthy increase of 26.2% compared to the previous year. This can be attributed to factors such as higher demand for summer clothing due to warmer weather and the success of the Uniqlo anniversary sale. The opening of two key stores, Uniqlo Harajuku and Uniqlo Tokyo flagship, also contributed to the growth in sales. These stores were specifically designed to showcase Uniqlo’s LifeWear clothing concept and products. Additionally, the sales of Uniqlo’s Airism face masks and pent-up demand were believed to have had a positive impact on the June sales figures.

However, when examining the nine-month results, the negative impact of the pandemic becomes evident. Fast Retailing’s revenue dropped by 15.2% to ¥1.545 trillion ($14.4 billion) compared to the same period last year. Both operating profit and net profit also saw significant declines of 46.6% and 47.4% respectively. Uniqlo’s sales in Japan during the third quarter were particularly affected, experiencing a 36% decline, with operating profit plunging by 74%. The company also faced challenges in its key international regions.

As a result of the challenging environment, Fast Retailing has adjusted its revenue and net-profit forecasts for the year ending August 31. It now expects a 13% drop in revenue to ¥1.99 trillion ($18.6 billion) and a 48.8% decrease in net profit to ¥85 billion ($795 million). These revised forecasts are worse than the earlier projections of an 8.8% fall in revenue and a 39% decrease in net profit.

Despite the current difficulties, Fast Retailing maintains its optimism about the future. The company’s track record of success in both domestic and international markets under normal circumstances is a positive sign. Once the pandemic subsides and conditions return to normal, it is expected that Fast Retailing and its flagship brand, Uniqlo, will be able to recover and regain their growth trajectory. Until then, the company will continue to adapt and navigate through these challenging times.

Useful links:
Fast Retailing’s nine-month results for FY 2020-2021
Uniqlo’s official website