TOKYO — Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said Wednesday that December same-store sales at its Uniqlo chain slid 15.5 percent, capping off a calendar year of disappointing comp growth for the company. “Sales of winter items were sluggish due to relatively high temperatures,” the company said, once again blaming weather patterns for its performance.
Uniqlo’s comp numbers refer exclusively to its business in Japan and exclude its stores in international markets like France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Singapore. Uniqlo’s same-store sales in November fell 14.5 percent. When that figure was released early last month, a spokesman warned that the coming months would be challenging, forecasting that Uniqlo’s comps for the six months ending February 28 will decline overall by 9.8 percent.
In October, Fast Retailing issued an unexpected profit warning, blaming irregular weather patterns and a botched product mix.
The company said it expects profits for the fiscal year ending August 2011 to decline 17.3 percent to 51 billion yen, or $618.27 million at current exchange. Sales are seen growing 5.1 percent to 856 billion yen, or $10.38 billion.