Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing has hit a key milestone in its global ambitions with the company’s value as defined by its share price reaching ¥10.87 trillion (85 bn euro/$103bn/£74bn) recently, more than any other company operating in the global clothing sector. That puts it ahead of previous number one Inditex, which was on 80 bn euro. That said, the company still remains behind both Inditex and H&M in terms of revenue.
It’s the first time Fast Retailing has beaten Inditex into second place on the market value front and comes after its share price has been steadily rising since August. In the months since then, the company has released a series of strong sales reports for its domestic Uniqlo operation. And while Uniqlo in other parts of the world may have seen more challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, investors seem to be happy about its big focus on Asia, where the crisis has caused less disruption and the recovery is coming much faster.
Changing style tastes as a result of the pandemic are also seen as being a plus point for Uniqlo, which has a big focus on loungewear and casual looks rather than more formal fashion. The company has almost 2,300 Uniqlo stores globally and Asia accounts for 60 percent of them, even with Japan excluded. There are 815 Japanese Uniqlo stores and almost as many (791) in China.
Inditex’s star brand Zara, by contrast, has a much bigger focus on Europe and the US with 70 percent of its stores in those markets.