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Uniqlo South Korea closes more outlets amid boycott

A customer tries on clothing in a Uniqlo store in Busan.

Japanese apparel business Uniqlo will shutter nine of its South Korean outlets next month due to a steep drop in demand in the midst of the ongoing trade dispute between Korea and Japan.

The closures come against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and a rise in online shopping.

However, the latest closures are likely to be the last for the brand in Seoul, with the company issuing a statement saying there are no further shutdowns planned – and promising a new store will open in September.

Uniqlo now runs 174 stores in the territory, 13 less than it ran at this time last year. The latest announcements take the tally to 166.

Uniqlo has shared the fate of other Japanese retailers affected by consumer boycotts in Seoul organised to protest against export restrictions imposed by the Japanese government on industrial materials bound for Korea.

The South Korean administration has also ordered the Japanese government to pay reparations for its WWII-era war crimes against Korea.

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