September 26, 2012 / 2:26 AM / 5 years ago

Fast Retailing: no plan to halt Uniqlo expansion in China

TOKYO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Fast Retailing Co is not considering changes in the planned expansion of its Uniqlo clothing stores in China despite anti-Japanese protests there, its chairman said on Wednesday.

"There is absolutely nothing like that," Fast Retailing Chairman and President Tadashi Yanai said when asked about reports it was slowing down its China expansion.

The firm, Asia's top apparel retailer, is looking to add 80 more Uniqlo stores in China in the business year that started on Sept. 1, he told a briefing on its development and sales strategy for Uniqlo apparel for the upcoming winter season.

"If it can be done, I would like to be able to add 100 stores annually, and at this time we have plans to add about 80 stores this year," Yanai said.

A territorial dispute between Asia's two biggest economies has resulted in several Japanese companies operating in China being the target of protests and attacks.

Fast Retailing closed as many as 60 of its casual clothing Uniqlo outlets in China during anti-Japanese demonstrations last week, but reported no damage to facilities or products.

At the end of August there were 145 Uniqlo stores in China, up 65 from a year earlier. (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Michael Watson)

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