TOKYO Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said comps at Uniqlo stores in Japan increased in January, marking the first improvement since last July.

Same-store sales climbed 10.7 percent compared to January 2010 due to “strong sales of winter items amid colder weather, and the smooth launch of spring items,” the company said.

A company spokesman noted that in the year-ago period, Uniqlo was sold out of its popular Heattech line of heat-generating clothing, which negatively affected sales. However, this year Uniqlo increased production by 40 percent so customers were still able to purchase popular winter items late in the season.

Spring items that sold well last month included chinos, cargo pants and washable sweaters, the spokesman said.

Uniqlo’s comps only take into account its 805 stores in Japan.

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