Fast Retailing Co. will introduce a new system in October to allow employees at its Uniqlo casual clothing stores to take three days off a week, as it aims to promote diverse work styles, company sources said Thursday.

The four-day workweek initiative is designed for workers to spend time on child-rearing and nursing care, and for the clothing giant to keep qualified employees on its payroll.

Facing severe labor shortages, other companies in the retail, restaurant and service industries could follow suit, industry observers said.