Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Uniqlo's parent company Fast Retailing's is preeminent in its home country of Japan, a fact recently exemplified by its effects on the Japanese stock market. A 7.6 percent fall, which is attributed to the company's projected year-end profits being lower-than-expected, took the market with it. But the company might have run out of people to sell thermal basics in a wide array of colors to.
Fast Retailing president Tadashi Yanai told reporters in Tokyo, "I don't have an optimistic view about consumption in Japan" (h/t Bloomberg). While the reason for the drop in net profits is a complex soup of rising minimum wage, rising sales tax, and more factors, there's one thing certain: Uniqlo has reached a saturation point in its home market, making profitability in the US and other global markets that much more crucial to reaching its goal of being world's top apparel retailer a mere six years from now.
In order to stay on target, FC will have to open a Uniqlo twice a week somewhere in the world. Since that's a tough clip to maintain, many analyst expect the company to acquire more big name companies under its wing. As retail analyst Hitha Prabhakar told Racked recently, "For Uniqlo to achieve worldwide domination they won't build from the inside out, they will acquire in order to expand the company quickly. Instead of spending resources in-house, they'll most definitely be looking to acquire luxury brands to dominate."
Talks with J.Crew might have fallen through in February, but expect big names to join the family of FC brands including Helmut Lang, Theory, J Brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam. For a more in-depth look at how Uniqlo is shooting for America's top retailer spot, head here.
· Fast Retailing Cuts Net Profit Ciew [Market Watch]
· Fast Retailing Drops in Tokyo After Profit Forecast Cut [Bloomberg]
· How Uniqlo Plans to Become America's Top Retailer [Racked]