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Speed merchant

— Tokyo


As president of Japanese company Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, Tadashi Yanai is the richest man in Japan. After record sales in 2008, he is taking his low-cost chain to Paris and Singapore and hunting for big game in the US.

Fast Retailing, Paris, Singapore, Uniqlo, low-cost chain

Tadashi Yanai is the founder of the casual clothing chain Uniqlo, chairman of its parent company Fast Retailing and the richest man in Japan, with an estimated net worth of €4.8bn. Yanai opened the first Uniqlo store in Hiroshima in 1984; today Uniqlo has 765 stores around the world. Its emphasis on high-quality, low-cost basics, combined with strong advertising, has struck a chord with consumers and the company posted record sales in 2008.

Since its first overseas opening in London in 2001, Uniqlo has upped the pace of expansion, opening more…


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