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Uniqlo taps robot startups to take humans out of its warehouses

Japanese fashion giant aims to completely automate all within five years

Fast Retailing CEO Tadashi Yanai, center, says Uniqlo is aiming for full automation of its warehouses within five years. (Photo by Rurika Imahashi)

TOKYO -- Japanese fashion giant Uniqlo is partnering with two robotics startups to automate the last tasks still handled by human workers at its warehouses, a process that the company hopes to complete within five years.

The company signed strategic global partnership agreements with Mujin of Japan and France's Exotec Solutions, parent company Fast Retailing announced on Wednesday, the latest step in a 100 billion yen ($917 million) supply chain transformation project launched last year.

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