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Fast Retailing (FR) Co Ltd is a Japanese fashion powerhouse, ranked the world’s third-largest manufacturer and retailer of private label apparel in terms of sales. The company has a diversified brand portfolio with Uniqlo as its pillar brand; GU as the affordable fashion; and a collection of global brands including Theory, PLST, Comptoir des Cotonniers (established in France), Princesse tam.tam (French lingerie brand), Helmut Lang (founded in Vienna, Austria) and J Brand (originated in Los Angeles, US). - By Sanjay Bakshi

the pandemic

The covid-19 phase was at its worst across the globe during March-July 2020, with a series of lockdowns and increasing cases of virus infection. Fashion was among the major casualties. However, Uniqlo Japan sales recovered a little earlier from mid-May 2020 with clothing demand in the pandemic shifting toward casualwear, loungewear and sport utilitywear. Uniqlo operations in North America and Europe were hit hardest by covid-19, resulting in a poor overall performance in FY20. Nevertheless, online sales expanded rapidly. Greater China revenues and profits too declined in FY20 due to covid-19, but the market recovered strongly after the controlling of the pandemic.