Uniqlo’s success mirrors the growth of Japan’s industrial giants

Drive through any city in South-East Asia and Japan’s commercial presence is visible everywhere: vehicles made by Toyota, Honda and Nissan clog the roads, the result of decades of market dominance in the region. If Fast Retailing, the parent company behind Uniqlo, a clothing retailer, has its way, the drivers of those vehicles will soon be wearing Japanese clothes, too.

The company’s latest results were a boon for shareholders, with operating profits of ¥103bn ($760m) in the three months to the end of February, up by 48% compared with the same period last year. They already had good reason for cheer: the company’s shares have risen by 53% in the past 12 months, making it one of the best-performing large listed companies in Japan. Its shares are now just 10% shy of their all-time highs in February 2021, and, with a market capitalisation of $76bn, it is the country’s sixth-largest listed firm.

At first glance, Uniqlo is an unusual story of a Japanese retailer succeeding…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.economist.com