Uniqlo to raise prices for autumn, winter clothing items

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Uniqlo will raise prices for mainstay items for autumn and winter this year in response to soaring material costs, officials at the Japanese casual clothing store chain said Tuesday.

The Fast Retailing Co. unit will raise the price of many popular fleece products to ¥2,990 from ¥1,990 in the previous year. It is unusual for Uniqlo to raise product prices by as much as ¥1,000.

Uniqlo has already increased prices for some of its items. It will start full-scale price increases with this year’s autumn and winter items.

The company plans to improve materials, functions and designs for its items and launch them at new prices around summer.

The Men’s Ultra Light Down Jacket will be priced at ¥6,990, up from ¥5,990. The price of the Women’s Cashmere Crewneck Sweater will rise to ¥9,990 from ¥8,990.

Prices for some “Heattech” functional underwear items will also be raised. Among them is “Chogokudan,” whose price will be raised from ¥1,990 to ¥2,990. Prices for some clothing items at GU, another Fast Retailing unit, will also go up.

Fast Retailing Chairman, President and CEO Tadashi Yanai told a news conference in April that it is not possible to raise prices easily in view of the current economic situation.

But he also said that it is “impossible to maintain the current prices” if materials costs rise 50%.