• Kyodo News


Fast Retailing Co., the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, will form a business and capital alliance with shoe retailer View Co. in a bid to boost its shoe business, the two companies said Thursday.

Under the deal, Fast Retailing will buy 2,533,000 new shares View plans to float under a third-party allotment scheme, or a 33.4 percent stake in the Osaka-based company, for 2.2 billion yen on Nov. 13.

“We’re an apparel group, but have been seeking to make shoes our second business pillar,” Fast Retailing President Tadashi Yanai said at a news conference.

By adding View, which is strong in women’s shoes, to group affiliates, Fast Retailing aims to report “several hundred billion yen in sales of shoes in the future,” he said.

Although the current size of the nation’s shoe market is 1 trillion yen, it would expand to about 2 trillion yen if latent demand is cultivated, he said.

As part of the business cooperation, Fast will provide View knowhow on chain store operations and help the shoe retailer develop new products and systems for online shopping.

“I feel like I’m dreaming,” View President Yosuke Matsumura said in the same news conference, adding the firm will obtain “massive business resources” through the tieup.

In the business year through August, Fast Retailing, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, booked 40.4 billion yen in group net profit on sales of 448.8 billion yen.

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