April 25, 2019 / 6:24 AM / 9 months ago

Japan's Zozo sees profit recovering this year after bodysuit blunder

TOKYO, April 25 (Reuters) - Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc forecast its profit would recover in the current fiscal year, after booking its first-ever annual drop on a failed experiment with bespoke tailoring and clashes with fashion brands.

The company, which runs the popular Zozotown online mall, said on Thursday its operating profit for the year through end-March fell 22 percent to 25.7 billion yen ($229 million).

That was below Zozo’s most recent forecast of 26.5 billion, which was marked down from an initial projection of 40 billion yen due to a costly and mostly abandoned attempt with its Zozosuit that allowed users to upload their measurements online.

But it expects business to improve this year and forecast operating profit to rise 25 percent to 32 billion yen.

The bodysuit, along with billionaire CEO Yusaku Maezawa’s plans for a lunar flyby as the first private passenger on Elon Musk’s SpaceX mission, had helped spread Zozo’s name globally. The end of the Zozosuit has cast a shadow on its strategy. ($1 = 111.9300 yen) (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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