Fast Retailing immune to China chill
Sep 30, 2015
China slowdown? What slowdown, says Uniqlo parent, Fast Retailing.
“Our business is getting absolutely no impact”, chairman Tadashi Yanai said on Saturday, at the opening of the company’s first global Magic for All collaboration with Disney at its giant Shanghai flagship superstore.
Yanai reconfirmed Fast Retailing’s plans to continue to open 100 stores a year in China, reinforcing the position that the company seems essentially immune to China’s slowing growth. The company said in February it plans to build its Greater China network to 1000 in the short term and to as many as 3000 stores in the medium term.
China is the Japanese company’s largest single overseas market already – and thus a key plank in its ambition to become the world’s largest apparel retailer by 2020.
There are currently only about 360 Uniqlo stores in China – far fewer than in its home market, where it has 850.
The popularity of Uniqlo in China is already vast, and the new collaboration with Disney should build further on that, given Chinese people’s love of western cartoon characters. Some 1000 people queued outside the Shanghai store on Sunday morning to be among the first to shop in the new Magic For All store-in-store which takes up an entire floor of the flagship.
Yanai expects demand for Uniqlo’s value-offer apparel to increase as the economy slows.