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[Japan-Korea economic war]Uniqlo’s sister brand “GU” closes all Korean stores! Still going on? The boycott movement of Japanese products When read in Korean paper …


Yonhap news that all GU stores will be closed (May 20, 2020)

Enlarged photo


UNIQLO’s sister brand “GU” was forced to close all stores in South Korea, which seemed to be far from the “Japanese product not-buying campaign” due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

In the parent company FAST RETAILING, Korean corporations are shaking with “restructuring”. “The impact of the boycott movement,” the local media reports. What do you mean? When I read it in Korean paper.

The president of the parent company UNIQLO is also confused by the wrong transmission of “restructuring” mail

UNIQLO sister brand “GU” (GU) store closure news Yonhap News (May 21, 2020) “All South Korean GU stores will be closed due to the impact of the new corona / buyout movement,” said:

“The Korean corporation that operates the casual clothing store Uniqlo, F Earl El Korea May 21, a store in Korea of ​​low-priced clothing brand” GU “, announced that it was closed to the prospect August this year.”

GU opened its first store in Korea in September 2018. Since it currently operates three stores and an online store, it will exit Korea within two years of entering Korea. However, some products will be sold at UNIQLO’s online store after the online store operates until the end of July.

In response to the news from Yonhap News, gu said, “Around August, the offline stores in South Korea will reflect various factors, including the effects of the new coronavirus and the need to change the business structure including e-commerce (electronic commerce). The operation has been suspended. “

However, Yonhap News

“It seems that the closing this time was also impacted by the non-buying movement of Japanese products that occurred due to Japan’s export restrictions on Korea last year.”

It shows the view.

GU manufactures and sells clothing under the “GU” brand and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fast Retailing, which operates “UNIQLO.” The brand name comes from the concept of “make fashion more free.”

According to the Fast Retailing website, as of February 29, 2020, there are 440 stores worldwide. With the motto, “We will continue to challenge overwhelming price competitiveness, not to mention fashionability,” we are pursuing thorough pursuit of cheapness.

The parent company, UNIQLO, was also hit last year by becoming a target of the Korean boycott of Japanese products. Whether the aftermath still remains, the media has been crowded with restructuring recently. Yonhap News (April 7, 2020) “Uniqlo Korea is considering restructuring or internal chaos due to mistaken sending of president’s email,” said:

“On July 7, it was found that there was an impression that the number of employees at the casual clothing store UNIQLO’s Korean corporation, whose sales were hit by the Japanese product boycott, is about to be cut down. This is because the e-mail recently sent by President Eru Korea’s Bae U-jin contained the word “structural adjustments.”

The e-mail contained the phrase, “I hope you can proceed as planned so that there is no problem in adjusting the personnel structure.” He also said there was a relocation of personnel, such as “If you work in a store in circulation with the promotion of structural adjustment, the number of employees at the head office will decrease.”

The email was sent by President Bae Woo Jin to the head of the internal HR department, but was sent to all employees by mistake. On April 7, the company set out to extinguish the fire, stating that it was a personal error and had nothing to do with structural adjustment.

Japanese beer and Japanese cars have picked up …

For interviewing Yonhap News, a person related to UNIQLO Korea Co., Ltd.

“It was mistakenly sent in the process of discussing the efficiency of the company’s general structural reform. It has nothing to do with human structural adjustment.”

Denied the restructuring, but the employees are in a mess.

Because last year (2019), an operating loss of 1.9 billion won (165 million yen) was recorded due to the impact of the boycott movement. This is because sales fell by 31% from the previous year to 974.9 billion won (84.820 billion yen).

In addition to this, it is expected that the fashion industry as a whole will struggle due to the spread of the new coronavirus and the business performance will deteriorate further this year. The result was a great deal of fuel to the anxiety of the employees who were frightened by the battle.

By the way, what happened last year to the unfavorable movement to buy Japanese products throughout Korea? “It looks like it’s finally settled down,” reports the China-South Korea-East Asia news site “Record China” (Record China). “The influence of the new corona has ended the boycott movement of Japanese products in Korea. The Korean net“ Be firm ”(April 8, 2020) reports,

“On April 7, Korean TV station E-Daily said,“ The sales of Japanese products are increasing in Korea due to the new coronavirus. ”The consumption of foods and toys has increased, and Demand for products is naturally increasing, too. ”

The increase in beer and automobiles, which had been drastically reduced due to the boycott campaign, is particularly noticeable. At one point, the import value of Japanese beer dropped to 648,000 yen (September last year) in a month, but this year, it was $ 264,000 (February 28.5 million) in February and $ 648,000 in March ( 69.98 million yen) and the increasing trend is maintained.

The import value of Japanese cars was 62.3% lower than the same month of the previous year at 21.3 million dollars (2.3 billion yen) in January, but it increased to 3 to 4 times at 72.9 million dollars (7.9 billion yen) in March. ..

However, “Record China” also reported to eDaily’s reports that there are a flood of protests calling for anti-buy campaigns from internet users.

“It’s okay to be an oblivion!” “Awake. This is why Prime Minister Abe spoils South Korea.” “Beers from all over the world can buy beer in Japan, even though they can buy beer from all over the world.” What are you thinking! “

Nikkei Shimbun Approves “Export Restrictions for Japanese Companies Boomerang”

On the other hand, the news that Korean media “wins Japan! Wins!”

The conflict between Japan and Korea began in July 2019 when the Japanese side strengthened export control (export restrictions) of three important semiconductor materials, but the J-CAST News Company Watch Editorial Department dated 13 May 2020.[Japan-Korea Economic War]11 months after the Japan-Korea conflict Korea declared “victory”? Under Japanese export restrictions, the public and private sectors finally succeeded in “de-Japaning”! In the article, I explained that the Korean side has built up a posture that does not depend on Japanese companies by domestic production and securing supply from Europe and the United States.

For this reason, Nihon Keizai Shimbun dated May 20, 2020, “Korean, non-Japanese companies,” said that Japanese companies that have been supplying parts to South Korea have lost their main customers and are in a difficult situation. “The material companies are hit hard by urgent export control.”

“Japan’s hydrogen fluoride manufacturer Stella Chemifa’s net income for the year ended March 2020 decreased by 18% compared to the previous year. In particular, high-purity hydrogen fluoride used in semiconductor production (editing department note, one of three export control items) Stella Chemifa said, “Export sales of hydrogen fluoride for semiconductor LCDs have decreased due to a review of the operation of export control for South Korea.”

“The situation is the same for another manufacturer, Morita Chemical Industry. The company resumed exports in January, but the scale of exports to South Korea has decreased by about 30% compared to before the tightening of regulations. “It takes time to recover what was stolen,” he said.

In the Nihon Keizai Shimbun’s report, Chuo Nippo (May 20th) added a peculiar headline, “Boomerang under Japan’s export restrictions on Korea … There is.

“It is said that Korean companies rushed into the shock of export restrictions and introduced substitute products, which made them rather boomerangs. Even if Japan relaxed export restrictions in the future, South Korea’s reliance on Japanese companies would reappear. It will not be easy to go up, ”said Ahn Ki-hyun, managing director of the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, saying,“ Even if Japan’s export restrictions return before July 2019, The replaced materials will not return to those made in Japan. ”The Nihon Keizai Shimbun concludes,“ The confusion of the Japanese and Korean governments has brought wrinkles to the sites of Japanese companies. ”

(Kazuo Fukuda)

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