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By
Reuters
Published
Sep 5, 2011
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Japan's Uniqlo Aug sales tumble on cooler temperatures

By
Reuters
Published
Sep 5, 2011

TOKYO, Sept 2 - Fast Retailing said on Friday that same store sales at Japan outlets of its Uniqlo chain plunged 9.4 percent in August after relatively low temperatures in the first half of the month slowed sales of summer goods.

The dive comes after Japan's leading apparel maker posted a 11.2 percent jump in July sales at its domestic Uniqlo stores open twelve months or more, when hotter summer weather and a government campaign promoting cooler clothes lifted demand.

For the business year that ended in August, sales at Japan outlets of the budget clothes chain, which account for nearly three-quarters of Fast Retailing's consolidated sales, fell 6 percent.

A relatively warm autumn and increased spending by shoppers at pricier department stores and boutiques in the first half of Fast Retailing's business year, along with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the second half, hit sales at home.

The company is projecting operating profit fell 8.2 percent to 121.5 billion yen ($1.6 billion) in the year to August 2011, which would mark its first fall in annual profits in four years.

Prior to Friday's announcement, shares of Fast Retailing fell 2.3 percent, deeper than a 1.2 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei average . ($1 = 76.980 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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