The coronavirus pandemic has widened a divide between winners and losers in the retail apparel sector in Japan as an increasing number of people prefer reasonably priced functional garments and move away from traditional business wear.

Among the beneficiaries is Workman Co., known for its blue-collar apparel. The number of Workman stores across the country had reached 902 as of the end of January, surpassing the 809 stores run by Fast Retailing Co.'s Uniqlo casual clothing chain, with its product lineup expanding to sports and outdoor wear.

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