Sep 2, 2021
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Wet August and Covid send Uniqlo's Japanese sales down sharply

Sep 2, 2021

Fast Retailing said on Thursday that sales at its Japanese Uniqlo stores fell by 37.3% last month, with same-store sales (including online) down an even worse 38.9%.


Both customer numbers and the average purchase per customer were below the level for the year so far.

Coming at a time when the Olympic Games being staged in Tokyo would normally have been expected to provide a major boost due to a tourism surge, the month was clearly a huge blow to the company. The Games being staged in empty stadiums and athletes’ movements being restricted cut off a major consumer group for many Japanese retailers to target.

Even aside from the Games not providing a boost, Fast Retailing said that the plunge in sales was “due to low summer temperatures, persistently bad weather, including heavy rains, and an even stronger tendency for consumers to stay at home and avoid going out in the face of Covid-19”.

The weather is frequently listed as a major influencer on Uniqlo sales and it’s usually very much at the mercy of the right type of weather for each season. Mild winters and unseasonal summers regularly dent sales while cold winters and sunny summers usually act as a big boost.

But of course, accelerating Covid cases this time round exaggerated the impact of the weather on sales.

That was even though only four of its stores remained temporarily closed as of the end of the month, although 196 stores were operating shorter working hours due to Covid-19.

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