The like-to-like sales of Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo chain in October 2018 plummeted 10 per cent as did its total sales figure. The higher-than-expected temperatures in Japan dented demand for its autumn/winter collection. It also seemed to have depressed customer footfall and the number of items each shopper who did buy actually went home with.
It’s become almost a tradition that October causes headaches for fashion retailers. In 2017, a number of otherwise-buoyant businesses around the world saw their autumn season turning negative as summer-like temperatures continued while their coats and knits appeared on store shelves and stayed there.
And the extent of the impact of the ‘wrong’ temperatures can be seen clearly when chains that are otherwise-successful, such as Uniqlo, suffer as much as those who are struggling generally.