Uniqlo Had a Sluggish Spring in the U.S.

On the bright side, it's doing really well in South Korea and China.
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Eliza Brooke
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On the bright side, it's doing really well in South Korea and China.
A Uniqlo store in Berlin. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

A Uniqlo store in Berlin. Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

With its fleet of stores now numbering 814 in Japan and 767 more internationally, the low-priced basics brand Uniqlo led parent company Fast Retailing's revenue to grow 24 percent in the first nine months of the year. Although unusually cold weather put a damper on sales during June, Uniqlo Japan saw same store sales rise nearly 10 percent in the third quarter, which ran from March to May 31 — and the brand was even stronger in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, which all beat their sales estimates.

Things weren't so hot Stateside, though: Fast Retailing said Thursday that Uniqlo has been experiencing "persistently sluggish sales" in the U.S., which led to greater discounting and, consequently, widening operating losses. Why exactly sales were so shoddy, it didn't say.

In fact, Fast Retailing's American brands were a bit of a blight on its financial performance as well. Although its revenue grew overall, J. Brand reported "persistent losses" in the third quarter, while Theory's profits also declined.