Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo plans to shut nine stores in central Seoul and other major cities from August as the once most popular Japanese clothing brand suffered from a year-long consumer boycott in South Korea on top of coronavirus outbreak.
FRL Korea, the operator of Uniqlo business in Korea, will shut down nine stores next month, bringing the number of its stores in Korea to 165, minus 22 from 187 at the end of last August.
Under its schedule, Uniqlo will close operation of two stores in Gangnam and Seocho in Seoul, and one store inside Shinsegae Department Store Gyeonggi in Gyeonggi Province. Others in the list include the Home Plus Ulsan store, Kimhae I square store Cheongju Megapolis store, Busan Nampo store, Daejeon Milano 21 store, and Asan store.
The Japanese brand was hard hit by consumer boycott since July last year in protest to Tokyo’s sudden launch of trade barriers on South Korea amid dispute over compensations for wartime forced labor.
In May, FRL Korea decided to close three local stores of Uniqlo’s sister brand GU by the end of August. GU is a new brand to local consumers with less than two years in Korean operation. The company plans to open new stores in September and look for operational efficiency through synergy with online malls. ine malls.