Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing sees no impact from China turmoil

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(Source: Inside Retail Asia | July 13, 2015)

Fast Retailing Co Ltd brushed off concerns about China’s economy triggered by recent stock market turmoil, saying it was pushing ahead with plans to open more stores in the biggest foreign market for its Uniqlo casual clothing chain.

The Japanese company is expanding rapidly in China as it aims to become the world’s biggest apparel retailer ahead of Zara-owner Inditex SA, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) and Gap Inc by 2020.

A near one-third plunge in Chinese stocks in the past month has intensified concerns about the economy, where growth is already slowing, but Chief Financial Officer Takeshi Okazaki said Fast Retailing’s China strategy was so far unchanged. “We’re seeing no impact at all on our business from the current situation,” Okazaki told reporters after the retailer posted an almost 20 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter operating profit to JPY39.20 billion (USD323 million).