TOKYO — Uniqlo hit a snag in January.

This story first appeared in the February 3, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said Tuesday that last month’s same-store sales at its Uniqlo chain slid 7.2 percent. The Japanese fast-fashion retailer said “positive sales” through December depleted its inventory of fall-winter items, including Heattech garments and knitwear.

A Fast Retailing spokesman said the company is not worried about the drop in sales since the firm would prefer to decrease its inventory of fall-winter items as the season comes to a close, rather than be stuck with excess stock and resorting to markdowns.

“It’s a matter of forecast and demand, which is very difficult to control,” he said.

Uniqlo’s same-store sales spiked 11.5 percent in December, the same month designer Jil Sander’s second +J collection hit stores in Japan. Uniqlo’s monthly sales data excludes the brand’s operations outside Japan.

Uniqlo has a network of 773 stores in Japan and a growing network of international stores in locations such as New York, Paris, London, China and Singapore. This year, it plans to open its first store in Russia.

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