Uniqlo February sales edge up, brand inks Japan tennis deal
Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo chain had a slightly less impressive month in February than it has enjoyed of late with same-store sales up 0.4% year-on-year and total sales rising 1.3%.
Those figures relate to the chain in Japan only and while the rises were smaller than in many recent months, they were rises nonetheless and continued a run of higher sales for the retailer.
The company said the same-store sales rose “on the back of strong sales of products designed to satisfy stay-at-home demand and buoyant sales of Spring outerwear and items manufactured using our Cut and Sew process”.
Of course, the company is still battling against some pandemic headwinds and by the end of the month, a total of five stores remained temporarily closed and 172 stores were operating shorter working hours. These weren’t excluded from the figures and so will have acted as a slight drag on the overall performance.
Meanwhile, following its signing of Roger Federer as a global ambassador several years ago and other initiatives, Uniqlo is continuing to deepen its tennis links and has just announced that it has included a sponsorship deal with The Japan Tennis Association.
The retailer will supply Japan's players at this year's premier men's and women's international team tennis events. The teamwear provision starts with the World Group I for the Davis Cup on March 5 and 6, in Islamabad, Pakistan. The women's team will wear Uniqlo in a Billie Jean King Cup playoff in Miki, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, on April 16 and 17.
It's a particularly interesting time for sport at present with so many events having been cancelled last year and the marketing opportunities such big events present having been largely closed off to brands. As long as the pandemic can be brought under control and vaccination rollouts continue, sports marketing is expected to have a much better year in 2021.
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