With its determined president's eyes on the goal of JPY1trn (US(10.7bn) in sales by 2010 and equal footing with the likes of H&M and Zara, Japan's Fast Retailing has confirmed it will be opening it first Russian Uniqlo store next year.

The company said it has already set up a department in Tokyo for the launch in Moscow and is now scouting for local employees to run and work the new stores.

Part of chairman and president Tadashi Yani's vision of raising the global profile of Uniqlo to compete and eventually outrun competitors such as Zara, Yani stated this was just the first of many stores in Russia and elsewhere around the world.

With Fast Retailing's plan to rapidly expand through mergers and acquisitions largely in tatters, retail analysts say its plans for global expansion will now be the best way forward.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.