The owner of Uniqlo is boosting pay for Japan employees by up to 40%

Inflation bites 

Fast Retailing, the Japanese giant that owns popular clothing brands Uniqlo and Theory, will start paying its employees much more this year. The company announced Wednesday that it would boost salaries in Japan by up to 40%, acknowledging that “remuneration levels have remained low” in the country in recent years.

“This will include employees from headquarters and corporate departments responsible for the functions of the company’s global headquarters, as well as employees working in stores,” the firm said in a statement.

The move comes just days after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on business leaders to accelerate raises for workers, warning that the economy risked falling into stagflation if wage rises continued to fall behind price increases. Japan is grappling with the biggest drop in living standards in nearly a decade.

The Great Resignation

Ahead of the busy holiday shopping season

As the Great Resignation roils the retail industry, some employees are strategically looking to call it quits ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

Retail workers who have recently left their jobs, or are otherwise seriously considering it, told Insider they are opting to quit for a variety of reasons, including what they describe as low pay, poor working conditions, lack of scheduling flexibility, and coronavirus pandemic-driven burnout. The departures come after a record number of more than 685,000 retail employees quit in September, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Adding to the inherent stressors for employees navigating a flood of shoppers during the hectic holiday season, many Americans are still refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and eschewing mask mandates, leaving frontline retail workers exposed to the contagious Delta variant.