Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing now the world’s most valuable fashion retailer

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing has seen its share price reach GBP 74 billion
  • This puts it ahead of previous number one Inditex, which was on GBP 69 billion

Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing has been labelled as the world’s most valuable fashion firm, beating Inditex for the first time.

The company’s value was defined after its share price reached JPY 10.87 trillion (GBP 74 billion) this week, more than any other company operating in the global clothing sector.

That puts it ahead of previous number one Inditex, which was on EUR 80 billion (GBP 69 billion) on Thursday morning.

However, Fast Retailing still remains behind both Inditex and H&M in terms of revenue.

Earlier this year, Fast Retailing said that Uniqlo’s strong performance was due to stay-at-home behaviours, selling more loungewear alongside activewear.

Uniqlo recorded a 0.6 per cent decline in the group’s revenue for the quarter ended November 30, 2020.

The group achieved revenue of ¥619.7 billion (£4.31 billion), while net profit down by 0.7 per cent to JPY 70.38 billion (GBP 49 million) year-on-year.

However, a sharp rise in operating profit was seen higher than expected, with a 23.3 % growth to JPY 113 billion (GBP 79 billion) thanks to strong sales from Uniqlo’s operations in Japan and Greater China.

The company has almost 2300 Uniqlo stores globally and Asia accounts for 60 % of them, even with Japan excluded.

There are 815 Japanese Uniqlo stores and almost as many (791) in China.

Meanwhile, Inditex’s flagship brand Zara has a much bigger focus on Europe and the US with 70 % of its stores in those markets.