To quote a famous 80s song, if a new Japanese mega retailer has its way we will all be turning Japanese in the near future. Uniqlo, the Japanese equivalent of Gap, Zara or H&M has just staked its claim in France on October 1st by opening one of its largest stores (2,100 square meters) right next to its three major competitors. If opening day in Paris was anything to judge by, Uniqlo will certainly grab its share of the French fashion market. The line to simply get in the store stretched blocks, to just get into the fitting rooms took well over an hour and the average wait at the registers was over an hour and a half. Granted this was probably due to both curiosity and opening day discounts but Uniqlo is certainly doing something right.
With Stores already in Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore the chain is going western world now and has already opened over a dozen retail spaces in the UK, there will soon be two open in France and New York City is already on the Uniqlo map with its Soho location. Tadashi Yanal the Uniqlo's president has plans to be the world fashion leader by no later than 2020. When you take a look at their products and the very friendly prices, you have to believe that he just might do it.
Uniqlo's website is extremely advanced and allows you to look for clothing not only by type but also by color and style. According to low cost strategist Pascal Perri, internet will begin to play a more and more important role for retailers. Uniqlo has obviously already heard this theory as it becomes obvious when browsing their site that they want to pull you in with their easy to use tools. Just for the fun of it I went searching for Pink shirts (remember my Pink blog post?). The site came up with not only a couple of shirts but an amazing 14 different styles.
Also take a minute to check out their styling search tool. It gives you great ideas for pulling different pieces together. I have to admit that online shopping has never been easier. Prices are so reasonable you can't help but want to grab a few items as you surf their site. Granted the pieces are not Donna Karan or Marc Jacobs quality but they also don't have the price tags that come with these wonderful designers' creations either.
With plans for rapid expansion, Uniqlo could very well be coming to your town soon but in the meantime, a quick www visit should give you a nice idea of what may be one of your new favorite fashion stop.
To your Spirited Style,