Japan’s Fast Retailing stated some 30 of its 750 Uniqlo stores in China had been still closed, which means most of its outlets outside the Hubei city, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, had reopened.
Uniqlo had closed nearly 350 of its casual clothing stores in China, as well as closures at some partner plants a month ago.
The closures have alarmed fears of a major blow to Uniqlo’s income. China has been a crucial growth marketplace for the company, which faces a worn out market and weak consumer spending in Japan.
Fast Retailing stocks ended Monday at 46,000 yen, down almost 30% since the starting of the year.
“China and Korea both seem to have gained control of the novel coronavirus and many people appear to be returning to work,” analyst Michael Jon Allen stated in a note to clients.
Jefferies Monday raised its rating on Fast Retailing to “hold” from “underperform”, saying the corporate was resilient and maintained enough liquidity to survive a possible recession.
A Fast Retailing spokesperson stated it had not yet decided on any closures in North America, where it has some 60 outlets.
Retailers, including Nike and Lululemon Athletica, have stated they had been closing stores in the U.S. as the highly contagious respiratory illness (COVID-19) has spread beyond China.