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Uniqlo’s Nov. Same-Store Sales Jump 32.2%

Retailer plans to open new stores in Singapore and Russia.

TOKYO—Japan’s Fast Retailing Ltd. said Tuesday that Uniqlo’s same–store sales in November spiked 32.2 percent as cold weather induced more customers to buy down jackets, fleece items and other heavy garments.

Uniqlo is one of the few fashion companies seeing growth in Japan, a country that just officially entered a recession after a protracted economic slump.

The sales data is only for Japan and excludes Uniqlo’s international operations but Fast Retailing has news on that front as well. Uniqlo plans to open its first store in Singapore next spring and it hopes to debut in the Russian market next year, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Uniqlo currently has 54 stores outside Japan including flagships in Manhattan, London and Paris as well as boutiques in China and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Fast Retailing Co. said Friday it will establish a Singapore-based joint venture with three other companies to manufacture textiles and apparel in Bangladesh.

Fast Retailing is investing 10 percent of the new joint-venture company’s $80 million in capital.  Fast Retailing is teaming up with two China-based companies, Pacific Textiles Holdings Limited and Crystal International Limited, as well as Ananta Group of Bangladesh.

The new company, CPAT Singapore Private Ltd., will start operating next year. Uniqlo manufactures about 90 percent of its products in China but it is looking to diversify it manufacturing operations. “We will be looking to locate approximately one third of total production in countries outside of China,” Fast Retailing said in a statement.

CPAT and China-based Bros Eastern Company reached a separate agreement to build a spinning plant in Bangladesh, Fast Retailing said.