Uniqlo, the Japanese casual clothing maker famous for its inexpensive fleece and faux-cashmere, will be raising its prices this summer before the brand’s fall line debuts in stores. But before you panic, not all stores will see the 5 percent price hike.
Fast Retailing Co., the Japanese holding company worth $35 billion that owns Uniqlo as well as J Brand, announced Tuesday that it will lift prices in Uniqlo’s home market only. The 5 percent price hike will be carried out only in Japanese stores to offset the weak yen -- which itself is a result of government attempts to pull the nation out of chronic deflation, Reuters reported.
The Japan News reported the price hike will be across-the-board at its 860 outlets in Japan and go into effect in July and August, just as Uniqlo releases its fall and winter selections. The cost of a sweater, without tax, will be ¥1,990 ($19.50), up from ¥1,896 and a T-shirt ¥943 ($9.25), up from to ¥990. Japan will also increase its sales tax next April.
The Financial Times reported that Fast Retailing Co’s move to increase prices at Japan’s biggest clothing store chain is due to the weak currency, which has raised the cost of raw materials bought overseas. According to New York magazine, Uniqlo’s takumi, or textile “masters,” purchase its denim, fleece, cashmere and other fabrics from China in bulk. Uniqlo also plans to hire some 16,000 staffers in Japan over the next few years.