The number of Fast Retailing Co.’s overseas Uniqlo stores outnumbered its domestic outlets for the first time at the end of November, the company said.
Fast Retailing had 864 of the casual clothing stores overseas and 844 in Japan, it said Wednesday. It now plans to speed up store openings overseas, mainly in China, forecasting foreign sales will soon exceed domestic sales.
The result comes about 14 years after the first overseas Uniqlo outlet opened in London, in September 2001.
By region, Asia accounts for the biggest chunk of stores overseas, with some 410 Uniqlos in mainland China alone.
Another 250 or so have been built in South Korea and in Southeast Asia, followed by about 90 outlets combined in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Other regions, including Europe and the United States, account for more than 100 Uniqlo stores.
At the end of August 2016, the number of Uniqlos is projected to hit 958 abroad and 846 in Japan.
Fast Retailing Chairman and President Tadashi Yanai has said he intends to boost the number overseas to 1,000 in the near future and 3,000 eventually.
In Japan, the company is shifting its focus to larger stores. Even though the number of stores in Japan will stay almost unchanged, the total floor space will grow, a company official said.