Fast Retailing plans to reopen two Uniqlo stores in Berlin this week

Casual clothing chain Uniqlo plans to reopen two stores in Berlin this week, the first in Europe to resume business after nearly all of its stores there were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan’s Fast Retailing Co (9983.T) operates 98 Uniqlo stores in Europe. All are closed except for one in the Swedish capital of Stockholm where stores and schools remain open, a company spokeswoman said.

Although most Uniqlo stores in China, its biggest growth market, have reopened as coronavirus infections there have dropped, the outbreak disrupted the company’s supply chain and forced it to shut over half of its 750 stores in the country.

This month, Fast Retailing forecast a 44% fall in operating profit for the year through August.

A worsening outbreak in Japan has forced it to temporarily close 289 stores and shorten hours at nearly 300 in its home market as of Tuesday.