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Fast Retailing and Seven & I Alliance in the Works

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Fast Retailing, the Japanese parent company of Uniqlo, Theory and Helmut Lang, confirmed Friday that it’s in talks with Seven & I Holdings Co., operator of the country’s chain of 7-Eleven convenience stores, to develop a broad business alliance that could include delivery services and a new clothing brand.

A source familiar with the situation told the Nikkei newspaper that the retail giants plan to pursue an omnichannel strategy that will let Uniqlo customers pick up online orders at any of the roughly 18,000 7-Eleven locations around Japan.

Moreover, the two are reportedly considering sharing distribution centers and jointly delivering products as well as developing a new line of apparel and working together overseas. Particulars of the pending partnership have yet to be announced but the source said specific details should come to light before the year’s end.

Fast Retailing, which earlier this month released third-quarter earnings boasting a 23.1 percent increase in revenue, holds nearly 10 percent of Japan’s specialty apparel market. Seven & I, meanwhile, surpassed 10 trillion yen ($79.9 billion) in the fiscal year ended Feb. 28.

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