Fast Retailing, the parent company of brands Uniqlo, Theory, GU, Comptoir Des Cotonniers, J Brand and Princesse Tam.Tam, has decided to try out a four-day work week for some of the company’s workers in Uniqlo. This plan will come into effect beginning October.
Fast Retailing has told Bloomberg that the four-day work week will affect as much as 10,000 employees in Uniqlo Japan locations initially. This means that Uniqlo staff will have the option to enjoy a three-day weekend while working 10 hours a day.
The four-day work week means employees get a longer weekend
The hope is that in doing so, Uniqlo would be an attractive employer for its full-time talent who seem to be in need of a longer weekend all the time. This is because some of these full-time employees tend to switch to part-time in order to be able to care for their elderly parents or spend more time with families.
One consequence of the four-day work week, however, is that employees will be asked to work during Saturdays and Sundays since the weekends are the busiest shopping days for Uniqlo stores. If things go well, Fast Retailing is also planning to introduce the four-day work week system to other stores as well as the corporate headquarters.
Sales in Uniqlo Japan were down slightly in July
As of May 2015, there are 844 Uniqlo stores in Japan and 767 overseas. In July 2015, total sales for Uniqlo Japan had gone down slightly by 1.2%. The brand’s same-store sales went down by 1.5% year on year while the sales for its directly-run stores decreased by 1.4%. This may have been caused by the lack of sales in summer items as it rained in Japan throughout the first half of July.