Uniqlo owner’s stock hits record as shoppers go casual in pandemic

Japan Times -- Jan 15
Fast Retailing Co.’s lineup of functional and casual attire continued to lure value-conscious shoppers whose preferences are changing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to push the Uniqlo operator’s first-quarter earnings close to an all-time high.

Operating profit rose 23% to ¥113.1 billion ($1.1 billion) in the three months ended Nov. 30, according to a company statement Thursday. That beat analysts’ average estimate of ¥101.5 billion, and comes just below Fast Retailing’s record quarterly results of ¥113.9 billion two years earlier. Sales for the quarter, however, fell 0.6% to ¥619.8 billion.

The Japan market is holding up despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, which has created another state of emergency for much of the country. The company’s lineup of casual and functional clothing has attracted more value-conscious customers, resulting in higher same-store sales at Uniqlo’s Japan shops for each month of the quarter.

- Japan Times