Uniqlo expects price hikes ahead

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Uniqlo may raise prices for some clothing items for autumn and winter this year and spring and summer next year, Tadashi Yanai, chief of its parent, Fast Retailing Co., indicated Thursday.

It is “impossible to maintain the current prices” if material costs rise 50%, Yanai told a news conference.

“Given the current economic situation in Japan, we can’t raise prices easily,” he stressed, noting that Uniqlo has so far raised prices for only a handful of items as consumers are price-conscious. He added that Uniqlo cannot grow without generating profits.

Fast Retailing said its consolidated net profit jumped 38.7% in the fiscal first half from a year before to ¥146.844 billion, a record high for the six-month period.