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Dramatic growth in Asia will drive expansion, Fast Retailing
07
May '11
Fast Retailing Co Ltd is targeting a rebound in the second half of fiscal 2011.

Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and CEO, Fast Retailing Co Ltd:

We are targeting a turnaround in the second half of fiscal 2011, rebounding from unfavorable business results in the first half, to post year-on-year growth in both sales and operating income.

Looking back over the first half of fiscal 2011, UNIQLO Japan sales and income declined as the rapid and excessive expansion of product lines prevented us from focusing on our best-selling core items. Going forward, I believe UNIQLO must strive to perfect its ability to deliver the clothes that customers truly demand and desire by focusing more sharply on developing products, such as our highly functional HEATTECH and Ultra Light Down lines that offer customers a new and higher level of performance.

In addition, the first half of fiscal 2011 was instructive in highlighting the need for enhanced coordination across our vertically integrated business model--spanning the entire clothes-making process from design and planning, production to marketing and retail sale. We are intent on improving in this area in the second half of the business year and convinced that these refinements will translate into growth in sales and income.

Both sales and income have been expanding favorably at UNIQLO International. Dramatic growth in Asian markets is likely to prove the driving force behind future expansion. As such, I feel it is important for us to establish a framework as soon as possible that is capable of supporting the opening of 200 new stores annually in Asia, excluding Japan. Our operational bases in China and South Korea are already sufficiently equipped to support potential large-scale UNIQLO operations similar to that in Japan. We also have some impressive Asian store openings planned for this fall, with flagship stores set to open in Seoul and Taipei, and a megastore with retail space approaching 3,300 square meters due to open in Bangkok.

We are also planning some new and exciting developments in the United States. This fall, we will open our second global flagship store in New York, on Fifth Avenue, and a megastore with retail space in excess of 3,300 square meters on New York's 34th Street, the city's most lucrative shopping district. While the UNIQLO brand is yet to be widely recognized in the United States, our reputation for high-quality, basic casual wear is growing steadily year by year.

We are currently forging an organization that has what it takes to enable us to transform ourselves into a truly global company. In this vein, we need to confirm and refine the role of our Tokyo global headquarters. At the same time, we also need to ensure that new regional headquarters in Shanghai, Singapore, Paris and New York are able to establish unified operations and training institutions that will help them to develop independent business bases in their designated areas.

We are firmly progressing down the road to fulfill our corporate mission to change clothes, change conventional wisdom and change the world as we make great strides in our quest to be a new type of global company from Japan.

Fast Retailing Co Ltd

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