Amid the escalating trade dispute between Seoul and Toyko, Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo has seen its sales dwindle by 40 percent in South Korea as a result of an ongoing boycott of Japanese goods by Korean consumers, industry sources said Friday.
According to the industry, Uniqlo’s sales nose-dived after July 11, when Uniqlo Chief Financial Officer Takeshi Okazaki said during an earnings press call that the impact of the boycott would be short-lived.
Fast Retailing Co., which owns Uniqlo, issued an apology 11 days later indicating that the CFO had misspoken and had meant to say he “hoped” its impact would be short-lived.
Uniqlo declined to reveal detailed sales figures, citing internal matters.
Meanwhile, a local news outlet reported that Uniqlo was closing down its Jongno 3-ga store in central Seoul due to falling sales, citing a property owner who said Uniqlo did not wish to renew the lease as it could not meet the contract terms.
Uniqlo officials for their part said the Jongno 3-ga store was closing in accordance with the termination of the contract, denying any connection with the nationwide boycott.
Last year, Uniqlo reported record-high sales of 1.3 trillion won ($1.08 billion) and an operating profit at 234 billion won. Its sales have been above 1 trillion won since 2015.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)