GU Korea launch confirmed by Fast Retailing
Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing is set to launch its budget brand GU in South Korea.
The first GU Korea store will open in Seoul later this year.
Launched in 2006, GU currently has 374 stores in Japan with 19 overseas outlets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“We have long been thinking that entering South Korea, which is very fashion-conscious, is an inevitable step for us,” GU CEO Osamu Yunoki said during a press conference in Seoul.
The move is part of a broader strategy by Fast Retailing to expand its global footprint as it tries to become the world’s largest apparel retailer.
GU hopes to emulate the success of Uniqlo in South Korea, it said. Uniqlo had 183 stores across the country as of April, after opening its first store in Seoul in 2005.
Last fiscal year, GU reported 199.1 billion yen (US$1.77 billion) in revenue with 13.5 billion yen of operating profit. While sales were up 6 per cent on-year, operating profit was down 39 per cent during the period due to a fall in the gross profit margin owing to lower-than-expected sales, it said.
- Original reporting by Yonhap, via Korea Bizwire.