Uniqlo price-rise tactic fails

A tactic to move to high prices over the past year has failed for Japanese casualwear chain Uniqlo, admits the chairman of its parent company, Fast Retailing.

Japan’s richest person, billionaire Tadashi Yanai says the company is considering how to sell value-added products for the lowest possible price.

“The world is flooded with clothes without added value,” he said at a fashion event in Tokyo’s Shibuya shopping district featuring Uniqlo’s latest seasonal styles.

Japanese consumers are being cautious as the country’s financial situation tightens, and Fast Retailing has seen its overseas earnings hit by a stronger yen, compounded by China’s slowdown and losses in the US. Uniqlo lost some of its budget-minded customers in Japan after raising prices last year.

Fast Retailing has cut back its operating profit forecast last month to 120 billion yen ($1.1 billion) for the year ending August, down 33 per cent from its estimate in January.

In April, Uniqlo reported that its first-half year profits had plunged.

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