Saturday, September 7, 2013
Fast Retailing To Open 70 GU Stores In Next 12 Months
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Fast Retailing Co. (9983) is accelerating store openings of its GU discount apparel chain, aiming to capture demand from budget-minded consumers.
The retailer plans to open around 70 GU stores in the year ending next August, 20% more than in the prior fiscal year. Forty of those locations will be opened in the four months through December. The first GU store in Okinawa Prefecture will open on Sept. 20, with debuts in Kagoshima and Nagasaki prefectures set for November.
At the end of August 2014, Fast Retailing aims to have around 270 GU stores in operation, a net increase of around 60. In October, it will also open a 1,300 sq. meter outlet within the Bicqlo store -- a joint enterprise between its Uniqlo apparel chain and Bic Camera Inc. (3048) in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.
The GU chain will sell so-called jeggings, which look like slim jeans but can stretch like leggings, and sweaters for 990 yen this fall, half the price at Uniqlo stores. By combining discount sales with aggressive store openings, Fast Retailing aims to boost the chain's sales 30% to 100 billion yen in the current fiscal year.
(The Nikkei, Sept. 7 morning edition)