The Japanese company’s operating profits totaled ¥113.9 billion JPY (approximately $1.02 billion USD), nearly ¥30 billion JPY ($269 million USD) higher than the previous year’s take. Uniqlo was the star performer in Fast Retailing’s stable of brands, which includes Theory, J Brand and Japanese chain GU, boasting 54.7% growth in overseas operating profits and an 18.6% rise in Japan as international profits overtake domestic income for the first time. As more Uniqlo stores outside of Japan crop up, the number at home remains unchanged, as the brand seeks to boost profits through improved online traffic and an overhauled distribution network.
Opening more stores overseas remains high on Uniqlo’s to-do list, as the brand aims to host over 1,000 stores in China by 2021, with nearly 600 currently open. While Uniqlo aims to increase its physical presence, competitor H&M is diversifying, rolling out a new “affordable luxury brand” later this year.