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Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009

News photo
Cheap chic: Young people model outfits coordinated by popular TV personality Akina Minami for g.u., a clothing chain run by GOV Retailing Co., at a media event in Tokyo's Roppongi district Tuesday. KAZUAKI NAGATA

Fashion company to retail 200 items for ¥990


Staff writer

GOV Retailing Co. announced Tuesday that one-third of its g.u. brand's fall-winter collection, or 200 of the 600 items, will retail for ¥990.

GOV's latest move, which expands by about five times the number of items at that price compared with last year's collection, is likely to intensify competition in the industry, which is already crowded with low-cost merchandisers.

Among the 200 ¥990 items available at g.u. stores are jeans, pants and skirts, in 100 colors, according to the company.

Also in the low-price lineup are shirts, fleeces and knitwear.

"Even for a fall-winter outfit, people can coordinate an entire outfit for less than ¥5,000," said Shuichi Nakajima, president of GOV Retailing, which is owned by Fast Retailing, the parent company of the Uniqlo casual-clothing chain.

In March, GOV turned heads with the introduction of ¥990 jeans which Nakajima said have been selling well.

Initially, the company had set an annual sales target of 500,000 pairs but soon raised that to 1 million. Nakajima said at the current pace he expects the goal to be achieved.

Aeon Co., which operates supermarkets nationwide, began selling ¥880 jeans at outlets last month, while supermarket giant Daiei Inc. followed suit Saturday.

Nakajima said g.u. is not planning to compete with them by beating the price of a certain item.

"Our positions are different. . . . We would like to produce a wide range of reasonable items as much as we can to please customers," Nakajima said.



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