Barneys Suitor Losing Money On UNIQLO Store

Fast Retailing Inc., the Japanese retail giant that owns the UNIQLO chain of cheap-chic clothing stores and which put together a $900 million bid to buy Barneys New York from the Jones Apparel Group, downgraded its forecast for the third time this business year.

According to Reuters:

Having built up an empire of more than 700 stores in Japan, Fast Retailing has pledged to invest up to 400 billion yen over the next three years on acquisitions in a bid to boost its global presence and double annual sales to 1 trillion yen by 2010.

The company gained a foothold in the U.S. market last year when it opened its first Uniqlo store in New York City. But its business there is still in the red, losing about 2 billion yen on an operating basis in the nine months to the end of May.

The retailer is competing with the Dubai firm of Istithmar. Executives from Fast Retailing would not say whether they would revise their Barneys bid upward if Istithmar, which has bid $825 million, ups the ante.