Stay-home demand benefits casual clothing chain

A major Japanese retailer of casual clothing has posted a healthy return to profit in the latest fiscal year as people stocked up on clothes to wear at home as the pandemic dragged on.

The chain, Shimamura, has shops mainly in suburbs and smaller communities. It says net profit for the year through late February jumped 99.3 percent to over 26 billion yen, or about 237 million dollars. That followed several years of weak results.

Sales were up by 4 percent to nearly 5 billion dollars.

The company expanded its lineup of casual clothing to meet demand from people spending more time around the house.