Uniqlo focused on US stores

Fast Retailing Co. is looking to revamp U.S. operations for its Uniqlo stores as the retailer struggles to gain traction with American shoppers.

Fast Retailing's sales were negatively impacted in its home country of Japan, as price-sensitive shoppers there balked when Uniqlo raised prices on some items to offset the higher costs of materials. Getting pricing right and adding value will be key in both Japan and the United States, according to CEO Tadashi Yanai.

But it's the U.S. market that will be critical for the brand, according to Reuters.

"The U.S. market is the most important. I'm heading there today. We're struggling now, but we're going to rebuild," Yanai said during a fashion event in Japan. "People know us in places like New York. But we're not known in other areas. We would like people to know our products, our name, our way of thinking."

Uniqlo's expansion here has gone in fits and starts. The first store opened in New York City in 2006 and the brand currently operates 44 stores here, a far cry from the 200 locations management expected to have up and running by 2020.

In October, the company said it was scaling back U.S. expansion from 15 to five new stores this year.

For more:
- see this Reuters story