Uniqlo owner trims profit outlook amid new curbs2021|01:28
Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing has cut its profit outlook for the year. The firm says new curbs on movement in Japan and other markets are slowing customer traffic in its stores. Last week, Japan, where the firm has some 800 Uniqlo stores, declared a fourth state of emergency in Tokyo. Fast Retailing says that's sure to reduce the number of people out shopping. It now expects operating profit for the fiscal year of 245 billion yen, or about $2.23 billion. That's down from an earlier target of 255 billion yen. Uniqlo has proved one of the stronger performers during the global health crisis. Its focus on Japan and China spared it the worst of the downturn in the U.S. and Europe. The brand has also seen strong sales of masks, lounge wear and other goods suited to stay-at-home lifestyles. Over the nine months to the end of May, that saw profits soar to 227.9 billion yen - about $2 billion. However, the firm is caught up in the global dispute over Xinjiang province, where China is accused of operating forced labor camps. Some Uniqlo goods were seized by U.S. customs over suspected violations of a ban on cotton from the region. Fast Retailing has denied any use of forced labor in its supply chain.