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Japan-Update

Uniqlo maps out a way to dominate differently

Fast-fashion king's digital reforms are aimed at keeping the Amazon.coms at bay

Fast Retailing's new headquarters in Tokyo's Ariake bayside area.

TOKYO -- On the sixth floor of its new headquarters along Tokyo Bay, Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, is quietly mapping out a revolution.

The fast-fashion colossus has soared to global success on the back of a business model that emphasizes low-cost production and a strong store network. But faced with slowing growth and mounting competition from online rivals, Tadashi Yanai, the retailer's chairman, president and CEO, is leading an ambitious reform project that aims to inject a big dose of "digital" -- among other changes -- into the business.

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