Thursday, 7 May 2020

Uniqlo sales dive in April as Covid-19 fears keep customers at home

Uniqlo’s Japanese operation continued to hemorrhage sales in April as same-store sales including online sales decreased by 56.5% year-on-year. Meanwhile, total sales, also including online, fell by a slightly wider 57.7%.

With Uniqlo, it’s usually the weather that has a huge impact on its sales figures as the right or wrong weather in any month can boost or dent sales of its functional basics to a large degree.

But this time, it was mainly affected by temporary closures or the reduction in operating hours at more of its stores. And of course, general consumer caution played its part as many of its customers decided “to stay at home to combat Covid-19,” the company said.

So as well as falling sales, this also meant customer store visits dropped sharply. 

During the month, a maximum of 299 stores operated but with shorter opening hours and 311 stores were temporarily closed. But it’s significant that those who did venture into its store or onto its website appeared to be buying more than the year-to-date average.

For March, the company had earlier said that its Japanese operation saw comparable sales falling 27.8% year-on-year, while total sales dropped an even bigger 28.1%.

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