Fast Retailing, UNIQLO’S owner predicts a 44 per cent decline in the annual operating profit. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted UNIQLO’s supply chains throughout China, which has caused closure of half of its shops. Almost 170 stores in Japan have been temporarily shutdown this week after the Japanese government declared a state of emergency.

According to Bof, the Japanese retailer predicts an operating profit of ¥145 billion (approx. $1.3 billion USD) for the full year ending in August, which is comparatively lower than the previously forecast of  ¥245 billion (approx. $225 billion USD). In the six months through February 2020, the company made 21 percent less profits than it did during the same period last year. The retailer has been depending on its Asian market, especially in China, where UNIQLO offers a mix of affordable basics and on-trend styles for a growing middle class.

 

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Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing’s CEO said in a statement: “We are talking with each supplier about how to place orders so that overall operations can be maintained. Since we have global business operations, we are better positioned to avoid an extreme impact on our overall businesses. I am determined to overcome [the crisis] with our employees and partners, including [supplier] factories.”