Uniqlo Operator Fast Retailing To Hike Japan Salaries By 40%

Fast Retailing, the owner of the Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo, said it will raise salaries in the home country by 40 percent, a move that comes after the government and the Bank of Japan governor urged Japan Inc. to consider wage hikes in the backdrop of rising inflation and cost of living.

The Yamaguchi, Japan-based clothing company said it is raising salaries “to remunerate each and every employee appropriately for their ambition and talents, as well as increase the company’s growth potential and competitiveness in line with global standards.”

“In Japan especially, where remuneration levels have remained low, the company is significantly increasing the remuneration table,” Fast Retailing said.

The company, which operates over 1,000 stores globally, will raise the employee pay from March 2023.

Salaries of newly joining university graduates would be raised by around 18 percent to JPY 300,000, while that of new store managers in their first or second year will increase by nearly 36 percent to JPY 390,000. Annual salaries of other employees are set to be raised by as much as 40 percent.

With the latest hike, salaries of Fast Retailing’s Japanese employees would be closer to their peers in Europe and the U.S., Nikkei said.

Last week, Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida and BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda urged companies to raise salaries as official data revealed that wages declined at the sharpest pace in 8 years in November.

Inflation in Japan’s capital Tokyo hit 4 percent for the first time in four decades at the end of 2022, official data revealed earlier this week, lifting speculation over a shift in the Bank of Japan’s massive monetary easing stance.

Bank of Japan’s new chief is widely expected to review the current inflation targets. Reports and surveys suggested that the current Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya or his predecessor Hiroshi Nakaso are the front-runners in the race to be at the helm of the Japanese central bank when Kuroda’s term ends on April 8.

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