By  on July 22, 2010

TOKYO — Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said Thursday it plans to shutter five of its small women's apparel brands in a move to boost the efficiency of its other businesses.

The corporate parent of Uniqlo said it has decided to discontinue the product lines as of early next year. The brands concerned, which include Zazie and Enraciné, are small lines targeting young Japanese women. Cabin, the division that manages the brands, will be merged into another Fast Retailing subsidiary: Link Theory Japan.

Fast Retailing said the restructuring will generate 3 billion yen, or about $34 million, of extraordinary losses for the fiscal year ending August 31. A spokesman said those losses will "impact" the company's current profit target, which it already cut earlier this month on uneven sales of spring items.

The company said just two weeks ago it was expecting its full-year net profit to rise 35.6 percent to 67.5 billion yen, or $774.82 million at current exchange.

Fast Retailing said it had spent the last few years trying to make Cabin a significant part of its women's business but ultimately decided to liquidate the brands.

"The current business climate in the women's wear retail industry continues to be unfavorable, due to the changing lifestyles and tastes of the young female consumers," the company said.

Cabin's retail network consists of about 198 stores in Japan. Fast Retailing said it will examine Cabin's current store locations and may switch some of them over to other Fast Retailing brands. The spokesman specified that these spaces are unlikely to become Uniqlo stores due to their smaller size.

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