Uniqlo suffers in October as warm weather dents AW18 demand
Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo chain may have seen months of strong sales until now but it seems that in Japan at least, October was a less happy month.
On Friday, the company said that its like-for-like sales plummeted by 10%, as did its total sales figure. That’s unusual given that those total sales include its online turnover and even in tough times, e-tail operations can often rise enough to push the overall company into positive territory. With October rapidly becoming a nightmare month for so many retailers operating in the fashion sector, what actually happened here? It seems that it was the problem that wreaked havoc both in 2017 and this year for some rivals globally - warm weather. Fast Retailing said that higher-than-expected temperatures in Japan dented demand for its autumn/winter offer. It also seemed to have depressed customer footfall and the number of items each shopper who did buy actually went home with. As mentioned, it’s become almost a tradition that October causes headaches for fashion retailers. In 2017, a number of otherwise-buoyant businesses around the world saw their autumn season turning negative as summer-like temperatures continued while their coats and knits appeared on store shelves and stayed there. And the extent of the impact of the ‘wrong’ temperatures can be seen clearly when chains that are otherwise-successful, such as Uniqlo, suffer as much as those who are struggling generally.