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Standard & Poor’s Corp. said Tuesday its rating on Fast Retailing Co. will not be immediately affected by the casual-clothing retailer’s downsizing of its store operations in Britain.

Fast Retailing, known for its Uniqlo brand of clothing items, is now rated A-minus on long-term debts with a negative outlook.

The company said Friday it will close 16 stores in Britain by around August to concentrate management resources on five stores in and around London.

“Fast Retailing’s flexible strategy toward store closures is designed to maximize profitability, and extraordinary losses from the closures will not have a significant impact on the company’s financial profile,” the U.S. credit-rating agency said.

S&P said the outlook on the rating on Fast Retailing remains negative and the rating could be lowered if the company’s measures to maintain its overall brand image and earnings performance fail to halt the current decline in its domestic sales, leading to a significant deterioration in its financial profile.

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