Fast Retailing Co., operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, will consider entering the grocery store business under a 10-year business plan, President Tadashi Yanai said Tuesday.
Yanai said that if the Fast business model could be applied to groceries, the company would be able to offer cheaper produce than existing retailers do.
“We would make, for instance, rice or vegetables at large-scale farms (in foreign countries) to reduce their retail prices to one tenth of the present levels,” he said, pointing out Japan’s high distribution costs.
Yanai also said that home furnishings are another business area Fast is interested in entering.
While major supermarket and department store chains struggle to survive, Fast Retailing, which mass produces Uniqlo products in China, is one of the few retailers expanding rapidly in Japan.
It’s also expanding overseas, with plans to open 50 Uniqlo clothing shops in and around London over a three-year period beginning this fall.
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