Fast Retailing continues to be the one to watch on the Japanese retail and fashion scene. Not only is the Uniqlo chain consistently turning out comps growth on a monthly basis, but it’s also plotting future expansion into new markets like Russia, Germany and Spain. In December and January, it launched the second +J collection designed by Jil Sander, drumming up considerable international interest in the brand. Fast Retailing chairman and ceo Tadashi Yanai has stated repeatedly he’s aiming to become a global player and is eager to use the company’s cash pile of $4 billion on acquisitions. “We want to be a brand that really changes the world,” he said in September.

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