Uniqlo a bellwether of Japan's economy

Company has stepped up discounts and slashed its full-year outlook for the second time this year


WHEN Japan's cheap-and-cheerful clothing brand Uniqlo raised its prices in 2014, it was an endorsement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to stimulate a lacklustre economy: with confidence high, even purveyors of affordable jumpers became price setters.

But as Mr Abe's expansionary policies struggle to rekindle growth, Uniqlo has reversed those rises, lowering prices last year and stepping up discounts again in the first two months of this year.

The brand's owner, Fast Retailing Co Ltd, now...


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