Retail in Asia

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Warm winter means damp profits for Fast Retailing

Fast Retailing Co. cut its full-year operating profit forecast as unseasonably warm weather worldwide hurt sales of winter clothes for the retailer’s Uniqlo brand of casual wear, the Yamaguchi-based company said Thursday.

Operating profit will probably be JPY180 billion (USD1.53b) in the year ending August 2016. That compares with the company’s projection of JPY200 billion made in October, and the JPY199.6 billion average estimate of 16 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Fast Retailing last month announced November same-store sales in Japan fell 8.9 percent due to "unusually hot weather". The weak performance threatens billionaire Chairman Tadashi Yanai’s goal to turn Asia’s biggest clothing retailer into a world leader with sales of JPY5 trillion by 2020. Fast Retailing also faces hurdles in the US, where low recognition of the Uniqlo brand has led to sustained losses.

(Source: Bangkok Post)