Fast Retailing’s flagship brand, Uniqlo, has demonstrated impressive performance in the first half of the year, particularly in the month of March. Despite facing challenges with its other brands, the company reported only a slight decline in revenue and a significant increase in operating profit. This success can be attributed to the strong performance of Uniqlo in Japan and Greater China, despite difficulties in other markets.

In Japan, Uniqlo experienced a notable increase in revenue and operating profit. Same-store sales grew by 5.6%, driven by the demand for stay-at-home items and core Fall/Winter products. E-commerce sales also saw substantial growth. However, Uniqlo International faced a decline in revenue, mainly due to the impact of the pandemic on Europe and North America. Despite this, e-commerce sales remained strong in these markets.

Another brand under Fast Retailing, GU, achieved steady performance, with a slight increase in revenue and operating profit. The success of TV commercials and popular items contributed to the brand’s consistent same-store sales, despite a decline in customer visits.

On the other hand, Fast Retailing’s Global Brands, including Theory and PLST, reported a significant decline in revenue and an operating loss. Theory’s performance was heavily affected by the pandemic in the US and Japan, resulting in a decrease in both revenue and profit. Furthermore, the PLST brand experienced a decline in revenue and a slight operating loss due to the decrease in customer visits. Comptoir des Cotonniers, a French brand, also faced challenges with a decline in revenue and a wider operating loss due to store closures.

Despite these challenges, analysts remain positive about Fast Retailing’s overall performance. The company’s focus on casualwear has proven favorable during the pandemic. Uniqlo’s strong presence in Asia, as well as its collaborations with renowned designers, has also contributed to the brand’s success. While brands like Theory may continue to face difficulties, the future looks promising for Uniqlo.

In March, Uniqlo’s same-store sales in Japan, including online, experienced significant growth compared to the previous year, influenced by the pandemic lockdowns. The company attributed this growth to the strong sales of spring/summer ranges designed for a stay-at-home lifestyle and collaborations.

Overall, Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo brand has demonstrated resilience and growth amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. The company’s focus on casualwear, successful partnerships, and strong e-commerce presence have played a significant role in its positive performance.

Useful Links:
Uniqlo Official Website
Fast Retailing Press Release