The numbers: Good. Profits jumped 22% for Japan’s Fast Retailing—the parent of Uniqlo and Theory—for its fiscal year through May. Sales rose 19%. The retailer affirmed its full-year sales forecast of ¥1,103 trillion (roughly $11 billion).
The takeaway: The bulk of the sales rise was still due to Asia, with large sales gains seen in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. South Korea lagged, as a cool spring hurt sales. The company said it plans to open 10 new US stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California, as part of an ongoing stateside push.
What’s interesting: Japan’s richest man, Tadashi Yanai, is the founder and driving force behind Fast Retailing. During the 1980s, he was so enthralled with the success of the Gap that he invited then CEO Mickey Drexler for breakfast. “You are my professor,” Yanai told him, according to a 2011 GQ profile. “I follow everything you do.”