Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo (Fast Retailing) has announced plans for expansion, particularly in the United States. Similar to H&M, preferences for Uniqlo clothing within our youth culture studies is on the rise, but the addition of more stores and greater awareness via its ecommerce platform will impact the teen retailer landscape even more in the near future.
Uniqlo opened its first flagship in the U.S. in NYC in 2006, and last week, another store in New Jersey making for a total of 26 stores in the States so far. By November, 3 more stores in the States will open including Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. By 2020, Uniqlo plans to have 200 stores in the U.S. and is openly admitting it plans to be the top retailer in the future, outshining H&M, Zara, and Gap.
According to Larry, Meyer, the CEO of Uniqlo USA, “We will be building revenue consistent with what 200 stores would generate.” Some new stores, he said, will have bigger flagship formats. Ecommerce plans are also a part of the retail growth.
“Building brand awareness was a big challenge,” Meyer said, and sizing has also been a big problem with Uniqlo. In the past, Uniqlo sized for the Japanese market which was much smaller than the sizing requirements for the U.S. market.
Overall, Unqilo has 1,400 stores worldwide, including 850 in Japan and 300 in China. Plans include opening 10 to 15 locations a year.