Own-label discount store chain Mujirushi Ryohin is to slash the price of 182 clothing items in an attempt to compete with low-priced clothing retailers such as Uniqlo and 100 yen shops. And from next spring, the company says it will concentrate on cutting costs by consolidating the overseas plants where production is outsourced, and reducing the number of products for sale.

From September casual clothes will be 400 yen cheaper, and women's jeans will sell for 2,500 yen - undercutting arch rival Uniqlo. General merchandise goods and food items will also sell for 15-25 per cent below competitors' prices.

The announcement pre-empts a sharp decline in sales and profits for the six months to the end of August. Apparel sales, which account for around 30 per cent of total sales, are expected to be particularly sluggish. In February, Ryohin Keikaku suffered its first annual drop in profits since 1989.

In addition to price cuts the company plans to revamp existing stores.