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Uniqlo prepares for major US expansion


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Following a string of closures of US department store retailers, the world’s third-largest clothing retailer, Japan’s Uniqlo, which operates under the parent company Fast Retailing, is preparing to aggressively take on the US market with a series of new openings.


During a recent interview on US news channel CNBC, Fast Retailing’s head of marketing said, “We are a big brand in Asia, but we need US consumers to get to know our products.” To achieve this, Uniqlo must first reduce the number of its out-of-town retail stores and shift the focus toward retail stores in larger cities such as Boston and Washington.


Uniqlo entered the US market 10 years ago, initially opening three outlets in shopping malls in New Jersey; however they were rapidly closed and Uniqlo transferred operations to Manhattan, opening a flagship store there. Within the space of 10 years, Uniqlo has increased the number of its stores in the Manhattan area to 20, although in other states, where its stores don’t last long before having to close down, the company has fared less well.


On Wednesday last week in Manhattan, Uniqlo held a launch event to promote its fall clothing line. Fashion retail analyst Jan Kniffen points out that the problem faced by Uniqlo is that, despite holding a launch event, the company has failed to communicate the quality and functionality of its products to US consumers.Kniffen says that US consumers associate the Uniqlo brand with so-called “fast fashion” retailers such as H&M and Forever 21, and have the impression that its products are of inferior quality and will quickly become worn out. Kniffen says that with its current strategy, Uniqlo will find it difficult to persuade US consumers to buy their products.

Uniqlo上週三於曼哈頓舉行了秋裝發表,但零售業分析師哲恩·尼芬指出,該公司的問題在於,雖然進行了發表會,但沒有將旗下服飾產品的品質及功能性傳達給美國消費者。他表示,由於在美國消費者心中,該品牌定位與H&M、Forever 21等「快時尚」相同,因此給人一種品質低劣、很快就會穿壞的印象,以現有的策略,將很難讓美國消費者買單。

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