Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo casual-clothing chain, has outlined ambitious expansion plans to help it become the world's leading manufacturer and retailer by 2020 - including new factories to ramp up production to 5bn items a year.

The company today (14 September) said it plans to open some 200-300 Uniqlo stores a year as part of the moves, aiming to reach net sales of JPY5trn (US$65bn) and ordinary income of JPY1trn by 2020.

It said that to reach an annual revenue rise of JPY500bn, it will open 300 stores which will generate sales of JPY2bn a year.

Fast Retailing plans to open 100 stores a year in China, 50 in South Korea, 30 in Taiwan, 100 in the ASEAN region, and 20 a year across Europe and the US.

The company is also eyeing new production bases outside of China, including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia. It will also launch fully-fledged production in India. The company is aiming to manufacture five billion articles of clothing a year by 2020.

It also plans to establish regional head offices in New York, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore, hiring a large number of employees in the process, "including staff who are expected to become executives and cultivate them early".

In Japan, the goal includes opening five flagship stores, 100 mega stores of around 3,300 square metres, 200 large-scale stores of around 1,600 square metres, 500 mid-size stores of around 1,000 square metres and 200 small-scale stores in railway stations.

In China and South Korea, the company intends to build the Uniqlo brand into a JPY100bn business in each country within two to three years. Ultimately, it sees the potential for the Chinese business to be worth JPY1trn and South Korean business to be worth 200bn.

As well as its flagship Uniqlo operations, Fast Retailing wants to generate some JPY50bn in sales from its g.u. brand and open around 50 stores per year. It also sees opportunities to expand its presence in the ASEAN countries in the "near future".

Theory will also be rolled out in Europe and Asia and turned into a global brand, with similar plans in the pipeline for the Comtoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam labels.