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Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo Plans Major Expansion of Kids’ Wear Line

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Reporting by Chang Ran Kim

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo casualwear brand said on Friday it would expand the range of items in its kids’ and babies’ collection by 50 percent, aiming to bring it on par with its men’s and women’s lines.

Spain’s Inditex, which owns the Zara chain, Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz and Gap Stores Inc already offer a full line of children’s clothes. Fast Retailing is aiming to overtake them to become the world’s top apparel maker by 2020.

“Until now, our offering, particularly for girls, wasn’t sufficient,” Shuichi Nakajima, group executive vice president at the Japanese fashion retailer, told a news conference.

Uniqlo said it aims to double revenues for the kids’ and babies’ lines this year but did not provide specific figures.

It will also expand the number of its Japanese stores offering kids’ clothing by 60 percent to 679. It said about 600 overseas stores would carry the expanded range but did not say how many of those stores would be offering kids’ clothes for the first time.

The line will be extended from the fall/winter collection, which will include outerwear incorporating lighter, warmer and more durable material newly developed with high-tech textile maker Toray Industries.

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