Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo is likely to report strong same-store sales for June, taking the edge off a profit plunge for owner Fast Retailing Co due to store closures and weak demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
For June, JP Morgan analyst Dairo Murata forecast a 20 per cent–30 per cent jump in the brand’s domestic same-store sales, helped by demand for the company's Airism face masks, which sold out quickly after going on sale that month. Japan began lifting pandemic lockdown measures in late May.
Such a rise, following declines of 57 per cent in April and 18 per cent in May, would be the strongest sign yet of the business recovering, at least in its home market. Stores in China, a key growth market, have also reopened and people are shopping again.
While strong June sales may also highlight the company's relative strength among global fast-fashion peers, helped by its focus on practical clothes and strength in Asian markets, it may be too early to say the worst is past.