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Uniqlo's retail empire embarks on a digital revolution

CEO gets a hand from SoftBank's Son in hiring IT talent

Employees of Fast Retailing, operator of Uniqlo clothing outlets, work at the company's new headquarters building called UNIQLO CITY TOKYO, in Tokyo.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Tadashi Yanai, the chairman and president of Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing, has embarked on a digital renovation of his retail empire.

He believes, for instance, that artificial intelligence could help factories, distributors and Uniqlo stores understand with precision what the customer wants, and reduce excessive inventory. By analyzing big data on consumer behavior, Uniqlo could make recommendations on clothes or deliver the right product at the right time to a specific customer.

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