Uniqlo's losses fail to dampen UK expansion

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The Independent Online

Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing retailer, is to push ahead with plans to expand in the UK despite making widening losses of nearly £10m last year.

The chain's plans include hunting for a global flagship store in London to add to its 12 existing shops in the capital.

Uniqlo, which is owned by the Japanese company Fast Retail, posted a UK loss of £9.74m for the year to 31 August, following losses of £739,387 the previous year. But, a spokeswoman said, the losses were "due to a combination of a change in accounting estimates and also costs incurred from work within Uniqlo to restructure and reposition the brand in the UK market".

She added: "The long-term aim for Uniqlo UK is to open large format stores in alignment with the global strategy, and as such, loss has been incurred due to small store closures. We are continuing to seek suitable store locations in the UK."

Uniqlo's turnover slipped by 0.7 per cent to £63.07m.

The property firm Harper Dennis Hobbs, which declined to comment, is helping Uniqlo UK to find a 40,000 sq ft flagship store in London, including Covent Garden, Knightsbridge, Oxford Street and Regent Street, that will allow it to showcase its full range of products.