Uniqlo continues to capture the youth culture marketplace, especially in Asia as the largest apparel retailer in the region. In Tokyo where the brand is headquartered, their recent financial reports from March 2013 noted that same-store sales increased by 23.1%. In addition, total sales including online sales increased by 22.9%. Uniqlo is also continuing its expansion into the United States and increasingly building up marketshare among young people interested in their styles, price points, and unique campaigns.
The reason for their recent increase in sales is two-fold: warmer weather in Tokyo that’s inspiring more people to get out and shop and the launch of another first layer technology-driven collection called AIRism—their latest spring/summer innerwear, featured on such athletes as the number one international tennis player, Novak Djokovic, and American Ballet prima ballerina, Polina Semionova.
AIRism is Uniqlo’s new brand of highly functional underwear. Under the catchphrase “comfort unlimited,” Uniqlo is extending AIRism to its home market of Japan, increasing the product lineup by more than 70% and launching a major marketing campaign across the 13 markets where it currently operates stores.
Featuring the latest Japanese fiber technology, AIRism offers incredible comfort, winning accolades from Uniqlo customers in international markets where it debuted in 2012. The high performance fabric offers a total of eight comfort-enhancing features across men’s and women’s lines. They include Uniqlo’s DRY and odor control functions as well as the ability to quickly absorb and release trapped moisture and stay cool to the touch. Marking AIRism’s global launch, Uniqlo plans to roll out a huge lineup of some 320 different items of great underwear this year, up from last year’s lineup of 190 items. AIRism underwear is already available both online and at Uniqlo locations worldwide, with many more designs set to arrive over the coming months. According to Uniqlo, “this single garment will change the lives of people everywhere.”
AIRism builds on this legacy, delivering comfortable underwear with a texture that feels both soft and smooth on the skin, is cool to the touch and features Uniqlo’s DRY function to quickly absorb and dry away perspiration. With AIRism established as a global strategic brand alongside the HEATTECH innerwear line for fall and winter, UNIQLO is now able to offer year-round comfort to customers around the world.
According to Djokovic, “The fabric always stretches to fit my most strenuous moves. With this on, I can concentrate on my game. That was a new discovery for me.” Uniqlo is sharing Mr. Djokovic’s excitement about AIRism with the world through a global marketing campaign featuring TV commercials, print and online advertising, that will run in the 13 markets where Uniqlo currently has stores.
Last month, the campaign will started to feature the world renowned classical ballet dancer Polina Semionova. A star of Germany’s Berlin State Opera for ten years, Ms. Semionova is now a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater in New York.
If AIRism follows in the footsteps of HEATECH, Uniqlo may continue its skyrocket increase in sales and challenge other first-layer brands with a high dose of fabric technology and comfort.