|Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founded||Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan
|Headquarters||Midtown Tower, Akasaka
9-chome, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
|Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President & CEO
Takahiro Wakabayashi, Senior Vice President
Number of employees
|Parent||Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.|
Uniqlo Co., Ltd. (株式会社ユニクロ Kabushiki-gaisha yunikuro?) (pronounced "YOU-nee-klo" in English) is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. The company has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. since November 2005, and is listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
In addition to in Japan, the company operates in fourteen other countries globally.
- 1 History
- 2 Sporting events
- 3 2020 goals
- 4 Worldwide stores
- 5 Notable projects
- 6 Awards
- 7 Store count
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Origins in Japan
Since March 1949, a Yamaguchi-based company, Ogori Shōji (which, until then, had been operating men's clothing shops called "Men's Shop OS") existed in Ube, Yamaguchi.
In May 1984, they opened a unisex casual wear store in Fukuro-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima under the name "Unique Clothing Warehouse". It was at this time that the name "Uniqlo" was born, as a contraction of "unique clothing". In September 1991, the name of the company was changed from "Ogori Shōji" to "Fast Retailing", and by April 1994, there were over 100 Uniqlo stores operating throughout Japan.
In 1997, Fast Retailing adopted a set of strategies from American retailer The Gap, known as "SPA" (for specialty-store/retailer of private-label apparel), meaning that they would produce their own clothing and sell it exclusively. Uniqlo had begun outsourcing their clothing manufacturing to factories in China where labour was cheap, a well-established corporate practice. Japan was in the depths of a recession at the time, and the low-cost goods proved popular. Their advertising campaigns also proved fruitful.
|“||In creating its clothing lines, Uniqlo embraces both shun and kino-bi. Shun means 'timing, best timing, but also at the same time it's a trend,' something that's updated and just in time, neither early nor late. The company offers clothing basics, but basics that are current, that respond to what's going on today in art and design. Kino-bi means function and beauty, joined together: the clothing is presented in an organized, rational manner, and that very organization and rationality creates an artistic pattern and rhythm. All these qualities reflect the defining characteristics of modern Japanese culture, modern 'Japaneseness.'||”|
—Nobuo Domae, CEO, Uniqlo USA (April 2007)
In November 1998, they opened their first urban Uniqlo store in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district, and outlets soon spread to major cities throughout Japan. In 2001, sales turnover and gross profit reached a new peak, with over 500 retail stores in Japan. When Uniqlo decided to expand overseas, it separated Uniqlo from the parent company, and established Fast Retailing (Jiangsu) Apparel Co., Ltd. in China. In 2002 their first Chinese Uniqlo outlet was opened in Shanghai along with four overseas outlets in London, England.
But sales did not go well in England, and stocks in Japanese warehouses were overflowing. In 2002 and 2003, Uniqlo profits dropped sharply. In 2004, the company began joint ventures with Japanese fashion magazines, and hired such celebrities as Norika Fujiwara to appear in commercials. They teamed up with new designers, and profits rose, including at London outlets. The acquisition of other fashion companies by Fast Retailing also helped the struggling company get back on its feet.
2005 saw more overseas expansion, with stores opening in the United States (New York), Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui) and South Korea (Seoul), their South Korean expansion being part of a joint venture with Lotte. As of year-end 2005, in addition to its overseas holdings, Uniqlo had around 700 stores within Japan. By 2006 sales were $4 billion. By April 2007, the company had set a global sales goal of $10 billion and a ranking among the top five global retailers, joining what at the time was Gap, H&M, Inditex, and Limited Brands.
Fast Retailing signed a design consulting contract for Uniqlo products with fashion designer Jil Sander in March 2009. Shiatzy Chen has been approached by Uniqlo to produce a capsule collection of ready to wear pieces to launch in November 2010 while Asia's largest Uniqlo store outside Japan opened its doors in Kuala Lumpur in the same month.
Uniqlo furnished the uniforms for Japan's Olympic athletes in the 1998, 2002, and 2004 Olympic Games, as well as the uniforms for J.League's Thespa Kusatsu team. Current No. 1 player in the World Golf Ranking Adam Scott wore Uniqlo when he won the 2013 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, USA. Current No. 1 ATP tennis player Novak Djokovic also wore Uniqlo shirts and shorts at the French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open, as does Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori.
On September 2, 2009, Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. announced that the company would target annual group sales of 5 trillion yen (about 61.2 billion US dollars) and pretax profit from operations of 1 trillion yen (about 12.2 billion US dollars) by 2020. This means that the company is aiming to become the world’s biggest Specialty retailer of Private label Apparel with a continuous growth rate of 20% per year. The figure breaks down as one trillion yen from Uniqlo’s Japan business, three trillion yen from its international business, and one trillion yen from [clarify] The company’s international business target breaks down as one trillion yen in China, one trillion in other Asian countries and one trillion in Europe and the United States.
Their first store opened on 16 April 2014 at Emporium Melbourne, Melbourne CBD. Their second store opened on 17 September 2014 at Chadstone Shopping Centre, Chadstone. Their third store opened on 16 October 2014 at Macquarie Centre, North Ryde Their fourth store opened on 13 November 2014 at Mid City Centre, Sydney
In January 2015, Uniqlo announced that it plans to open two stores in Toronto in 2016, along with a goal of expanding to Vancouver soon after. The two locations will be at Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale Mall.
In May 2011, the magazine Shukan Bunshun[clarification needed] published a story alleging that Uniqlo had forced employees at its stores and factories in China to work long hours for little pay. In response, Uniqlo sued the weekly's publisher, Bungeishunjū, for ¥220 million for libel; the lawsuit is pending.[clarification needed]
In December 2007, Uniqlo opened its first store in France in La Défense. On October 1, 2009, a flagship store opened in Paris close to the Opéra, followed by a second flagship store in Le Marais district in 2014.
Hong Kong & Macau
There are 16 stores in Hong Kong. Locations include - New Town Plaza, apm, Plaza Hollywood, Harbour City, Festival Walk, Sunshine City Plaza and Citywalk. The Macau store is located in The Venetian Macao.
There are currently 4 stores in Indonesia: Lotte Shopping Avenue (22 June 2013), Mall Taman Anggrek (29 November 2013), Mal Kelapa Gading 3 (5 December 2013), Summarecon Mal Serpong 2 (4 April 2014, and Grand Indonesia (East Mall).
In November 2011, Uniqlo generated more than 2 billion won ($1.7 million) in one day’s sales on November 11 when it opened Asia’s largest flagship store in central Seoul. The sales figure was the highest ever set by a fashion outlet in Korea. 93 markets spreads around Korea in 2013.
Uniqlo made their debut in Malaysia at Fahrenheit 88, Kuala Lumpur in November 2010. Uniqlo currently has 21 stores in Malaysia, located in Klang Valley, Penang, Malacca, Pahang and Johor. Locations include:
- Fahrenheit 88, Kuala Lumpur,
- Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur,
- 1 Utama(Old Wing) Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama Damansara, Petaling Jaya
- Setia City Mall, Setia Alam, Shah Alam
- Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
- Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway,
- Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya.
- Queensbay Mall, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
- Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, Pulau Pinang.
- Alamanda, Putrajaya
- Sogo, Kuala Lumpur
- The Mines, Seri Kembangan
- Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur
- Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall Malacca opened on 13 December 2013
- Cheras Sentral, Cheras, opened on 24 January 2014
- Main Place, opened on 28 March 2014
- Nu Sentral, opened on 15 May 2014
- Johor Bahru City Square, opened on 15 May 2014
- East Coast Mall, opened on 4 July 2014
- AEON Bukit Mertajam, opening on 11 July 2014
- iOi City Mall, Putrajaya
Uniqlo opened its first branch in the Philippines on June 15, 2012 at the SM Mall of Asia. On the same year, Uniqlo also opened their second branch at the country's 2nd largest shopping mall, the SM City North EDSA. The opening of its 2nd store serves as a fitting follow-up to the very successful opening of Uniqlo's first store in the Philippines on June 2012 at the Mall of Asia. Uniqlo has already opened its third store at the SM Aura Premier and its fourth store at the SM City Pampanga. On June 2013 Uniqlo had opened two new stores—SM City Fairview on June 14 and Glorietta on June 28. The Glorietta store opening marks Uniqlo’s first anniversary in the Philippines. The SM City BF Parañaque and SM City Clark branches opened in November 30, 2013. The last branch to open on that year is the SM City Dasmariñas branch, opened on December 6, 2013. The SM Lanang Premier branch, will be the first store in Mindanao and will open on January 31, 2014.
On May 9, 2014, Uniqlo will open in Cauayan, Isabela as one of the anchor tenants of SM City Cauayan. Uniqlo will also open on August 21, 2014 at SM City Sta. Rosa in Laguna and it will be the first franchise in the province. Uniqlo will also open on SM City Bacolod's new Annex Building (which is part of its Northwing Expansion) on September 2014.Uniqlo also opened at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center since October 24, 2014. Uniqlo also opened on November 7, 2014 at SM Southmall. And on December 5, 2014, Uniqlo opened another store at SM City San Lazaro
Katsumi Kubota, managing director of Uniqlo in the Philippines, says the brand plans to open at least 50 stores in the country by 2015 with 30 to 40 of those stores to be strategically located in Metro Manila.
Uniqlo had 22 outlets in Singapore in 2015. They are part of a franchise owned by Wing Tai Holdings. Locations include:
- Tampines 1 (opened on 9 April 2009)
- ION Orchard (opened on July 2009)
- 313 @ Somerset (opened on December 2009)
- VivoCity (opened in 2010)
- Causeway Point (opened in 2011)
- Parkway Parade (opened on April 2012)
- Bugis+ (opened on June 2012)
- Plaza Singapura (opened on 6 November 2012)
- Chinatown Point (opened on 24 April 2013)
- City Square Mall (opened on 7 June 2013)
- Jem (opened on 21 June 2013)
- Suntec City Mall (opened on 21 June 2013)
- Liang Court (opened on November 2013)
- Bedok Mall (opened on 13 December 2013)
- Kent Ridge NUH (opened on 13 December 2013)
- Changi Airport Terminal 2 (opened on March 2014)
- One Raffles Place (opened on May 2014)
- Kallang Wave (opened on 20 June 2014)
- Nex (opened on 19 September 2014)
- One KM (opened on 20 October 2014)
- Jurong Point Shopping Centre (opened on 8 November 2014)
- Seletar Mall (opened on 11 December 2014)
Uniqlo opened in Taipei on October 7, 2010, with the opening of the Hankyu department store, which was followed by rapid expansion throughout the country and the debut of a flagship store in 2011. As a part of an aggressive expansion strategy, Uniqlo has established storefronts in cities such as Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, and Hsinchu.
Uniqlo opened its first store at CentralWorld, Bangkok on 9 September 2011. The store is Uniqlo's largest in Southeast Asia, with retail space of approximately 2,700 square metres (29,000 sq ft). There are currently 20 Stores in Thailand. 13 stores in Bangkok and 7 Stores across Thailand in major cities including : 3 stores in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hatyai, Koh Samui and Phuket. There are also a stores to be open soon, 4 in Bangkok, 1 in Rayong, 1 in Phuket, 1 in Nakhon Ratchasima, 1 in Udon Thani, 1 in Khon Kaen and 1 in Ubon Ratchathani. New stores location includes :
- EmQuartier (27 March 2015)
- CentralPlaza Udon Thani (March 2015)
- The Mall Korat (Early 2015)
- CentralPlaza Rayong (Mid 2015)
- Central WestGate (Mid 2015)
- CentralPlaza Khonkaen (Late 2015)
- CentralPlaza Ubon Ratchathani (Late 2015)
- CentralFestival East Ville (Late 2015)
- CentralPlaza Pinklao
- CentralFestival Phuket
- CentralPlaza Nakhon Si Thammarat
In 2005, Uniqlo launched in the US market by "quietly" opening three mall stores in New Jersey: Menlo Park, Rockaway Townsquare, and Freehold Raceway. In November 2006, Uniqlo opened its first flagship store in the SoHo fashion district of Manhattan, New York City, where the retailer re-signed its current lease for an additional 10 years in August 2014. New fashion designers joined the store's team to boost and rebirth fashion concepts catering to the U.S. market. The opening of the Manhattan store was followed in September 2007 by the closing of Uniqlo's three New Jersey locations, leaving the count of North American stores at one. In October 2011, Uniqlo opened its second and third flagship locations on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street near Herald Square in New York City. On September 28, 2012 Uniqlo opened its largest mall store worldwide in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, serving as the flagship for all of the future mall locations of the retailer.
As part of Fast Retailing's 2020 plan the company has stated that it plans to generate $10 billion in annual sales in the United States from 200 stores, which will lead to a location in every major U.S. city. This goal was stated when the company's only U.S. presence was its handful of stores in the New York City area, soon after the company began an aggressive expansion in the United States. In October 2012 the company expanded into the San Francisco market with the opening of its first West Coast flagship store on Powell Street in San Francisco's Union Square. In January 2014, Uniqlo announced it would open an additional five new stores in the United States for the spring and summer of 2014, with further new locations being planned for the fall in the new markets of Boston, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles/Southern California region. In May 2014, the first store in the Philadelphia area opened at King of Prussia Mall. While in September 2014, two stores located at the Glendale Galleria and the Northridge Fashion Center were opened, marking Uniqlo's entrance to the LA/Southern California market. In the following month, Uniqlo opened its Southern California flagship location at the Beverly Center. Uniqlo has also announced that it is planning its first foray into the Midwest with a flagship store on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
The Uniqlo Designers Invitation Project saw the invitation of women's wear designers Phillip Lim, Alice Roi, Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos of Lutz & Patmos, Alper, and GVGV; and men’s wear designers Halb, Satoru Tanaka, and Alexandre Plokhov of Cloak to each design capsule collections of eight looks for Spring/Summer 2007.
4 additional designers/labels were asked for the 2009 Designers Invitation Project. Women's wear saw boutique owner Steven Alan and Shipley & Halmos, while men's wear include Opening Ceremony and Gilded Age.
In October 2012 Uniqlo has teamed up with French label Comptoir des Cotonniers to create a light down formula jacket inspired by the iconic boxy-cut style fusing French fashion and Japanese technology. "We wanted to use an easy sophisticated shape perfect for all elements of a women's lifestyle." said Comptoir style director Delphine Ninous.
T-shirt convenience store
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
A store concept called "UT Project", a futuristic convenience store for T-shirts, was launched on April 28, 2007 in Harajuku, Tokyo. Each T-shirt style is displayed on forms in stainless steel display cases, with individual T-shirts packaged in clear plastic canisters resembling tennis ball cans. The T-shirts are stored on open shelves, making the shopping experience virtually self-service.
The project featured a limited-edition collection of T-shirts designed by renowned artists, designers, photographers and musicians including Terry Richardson, Nobuyoshi Araki, Bjorn Copeland of Black Dice, Kim Jones, Peter Saville, Gareth Pugh.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2009)|
Uniqlock, a web-based Flash widget as well as downloadable screensaver combination of Music-Dance-Clock, was launched on June 15, 2007. Season 1 features four girls auditioned from YouTube wearing Uniqlo's 20 color dry polo shirt, dancing freestyles similar to ballet, with background music composed by Fantastic Plastic Machine. Blog-parts were Flash components provided so that Uniqlock can be inserted into individual blog pages. Uniqlock soon gained popularity, as shown in its World Uniqlock page. Until November 2008 there were up to 191 million clicks from over 200 countries, with up to 40,000 blog-parts in 88 countries. Uniqlock Season 2, launched in November 2007, featured Cashemere Knits, with the same dancers, dance style, as well background. The movie quality was improved, and dancers would appear to be asleep if the time in the specified region is nighttime. Also in each hour special clips would be shown instead; Season 2 features 2 men playing music, doing cleanup chores. In season 3 20 color T-shirt promotion, 4 new dancers were introduced in addition to the original 4, switched by hour. On August 31, 2009, Season Six premiered in the new setting of Paris, France. The clock's time was also changed to display the time in Paris.
In 2010, UNIQLO partnered with Grameen Healthcare Trust in Bangladesh to promote social businesses. The social businesses are aimed to address issues of poverty, illiteracy and poor sanitation, by selling clothes that the poor can afford, with profits invested in these businesses. http://www.grameenuniqlo.com/bd/ Within three years, the goal of this initiative is to create 1,500 jobs and have a total of 1 million units of production and sales.
Pharrell Williams' Capsule Collection
The German fashion designer Jil Sander, appreciated for her minimalist aesthetic, joined the Uniqlo in 2009, and was appointed creative director of the brand's menswear and womenswear - as well as launching a new label, +J collection, which won 2011 Brit Insurance Design Fashion Award. Sander sees a thrill in offering a utopian ideal of high-quality clothing to the masses. 'I like the concept of basic clothes in a democratic world,' she said. 'Uniqlo reminds me of Apple Computers; fantastic design for everyone. And I like what is Japanese about Uniqlo, a strong sense of tradition, the orderly approach to everything, great know-how and logistics.'
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- Nagata, Kazuaki, "Choice, chic, cheap — no one feels fleeced", Japan Times, November 17, 2009, p. 3.
- 2009 | FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. Fastretailing.com (2010-12-20). Retrieved on 2011-02-16.
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- Jamuna Future Park#cite note-5
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- First German Uniqlo Store TrendJam Magazine. Retrieved on 2014-04-06
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- "SM City Cauayan GF Floor Pan". Photobucket. Retrieved November 2013.
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- "First UNIQLO Thailand Store, Largest in Southeast Asia, to Open in Bangkok in September". fastretailing.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
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- press release uniqlo.com[dead link]
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- UNIQLO Preps San Francisco and New Jersey with Maru, Games, the People a September 13, 2012 article from brandchannel.com
- |url=http://www.fastretailing.com/eng/group/news/1401081000.html |date=2014-1-8
- |url=http://www.fastretailing.com/eng/group/news/1405081130.html |date=2014-5-8
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- "About Grameen UNIQLO".
- "About Grameen UNIQLO". Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- – Uniqlo's China website refers to 177 stores in Dec 2012.
- – Uniqlo's Hong Kong website refers to 16 stores as of April 2013.
- "Uniqlo Malaysia Web page". Uniqlo.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Uniqlo Taiwan store locator". Uniqlo.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- – Uniqlo's UK website accessed 31-Aug-14.
- STORES – Uniqlo USA Site accessed 7-February-15.
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