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(LEAD) Fast Retailing's GU launches first S. Korean store

2018/09/14 10:56

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(ATTN: CORRECTS name in para 3; ADDS more info at bottom)

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Fast Retailing Co., which owns Japan's fast fashion brand Uniqlo, opened the first Korean store of its budget brand, GU, on Friday as the company moves to expand the presence of the smaller brand in the global market.

The company said 40 "GU advisors," will work at the 1,388-square-meter outlet at Lotte World Mall in eastern Seoul to provide styling services to customers.

"I am truly glad that our long-cherished dream of opening a store in Korea has finally come true. We will continue to strive to put down roots in Korea and become a brand loved by Korean customers," Hirofumi Osako, GU Business Director in Korea, said in a statement.

Launched in 2006, GU has 370 stores in Japan and 19 outlets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In the 2017 fiscal year, GU reported 199.1 billion yen (US$1.77 billion) in revenue with 13.5 billion yen of operating profit. While sales were up 6 percent on-year, operating profit was down 39 percent during the cited period due to a fall in its gross profit margin owing to lower-than-expected sales, it said.

This undated photo, provided by FRL Korea Co., shows GU's first Korean store in Seoul. The shop opened on Sept. 14, 2018. (Yonhap) This undated photo, provided by FRL Korea Co., shows GU's first Korean store in Seoul. The shop opened on Sept. 14, 2018. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr

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