HONG KONG - Japan's Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, made its overseas debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday with the listing of depository receipts to boost its global expansion.
"Group sales in the fiscal 2013 year topped 1 trillion yen (about $9.85 billion)," Fast Retailing Chairman Tadashi Yanai told the press. "We aim to be the global No. 1 with sales of 5 trillion yen."
Uniqlo Japan contributed to 60 percent of the group's sales, or about 683 billion yen, in fiscal 2013, ended Aug. 31, while Uniqlo International contributed to 22 percent in sales, of which about 60 percent of stores are in greater China, including mainland cities, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The group is also aiming to expand its low-priced fashion brand GU to foreign markets, with a sales target of 100 billion yen in fiscal 2014.
Fast Retailing's greater China chief executive officer, Pan Ning, said Uniqlo's operation in Hong Kong and mainland China made a breakthrough in Shanghai in 2006 and has been growing strong since.
As of February this year, there are 325 Uniqlo stores in the region.
"We hope to open 80 to 100 stores annually," Pan said. "By 2020, we hope to have more than 1,000 stores in the greater China region."