Uniqlo Says Top Priority Is to Turn Around ‘Struggling’ U.S. Stores

The head of Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing Co Ltd said revamping the Japanese company’s struggling U.S. operations was a top priority, and that it would focus on raising the casual clothingClothing (also called clothes) is fiber and textile material worn on the body. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of nearly all human societies. brand’s profile there.

“The U.S. market is the most important. I’m heading there today. We’re struggling now, but we’re going to rebuild,” Chief Executive Tadashi Yanai told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event to showcase Uniqlo’s fall and winter collection.

“People know us in places like New York. But we’re not known in other areas. We would like people to know our products, our name, our way of thinking,” he said.

Yanai did not elaborate on how Uniqlo intends to bolster its brand recognition in the United States, where it competes with fast-fashion brands such as Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) and Inditex’s Zara, but said it would initially target shoppers in major metropolitan areas.

Uniqlo has not always broken out profit data for its U.S. business, but has consistently lost money there after an expansion drive that begun around five years ago.

The company’s strategy of expanding in suburban shoppingShopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. In some contexts it may be considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one. malls faltered as Uniqlo struggled to win over shoppers with its simple and affordable items which often incorporate innovative materials such as heat-retaining fabrics.

The company has forecast a 4 billion yen ($36.31 million) impairment loss on its U.S. operations in the six months through August.

But faced with weak consumer sentiment and shrinking population in its home market, few investors are urging the company to exit the U.S. market. Some analysts have said success there would boost its global brand image and allow it to aim for higher price margins.

Fast Retailing said last month that it still aims to become the world’s biggest apparel retailer. It has said it aims to open 100 Uniqlo stores in the United States, the world’s biggest clothing market, over the next few years. ($1 = 110.1600 yen) (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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First Look: Uniqlo x Theory Shirt Collection

Japanese clothier Uniqlo recently announced an upcoming collaboration with Theory on a line of tees and polo shirts. Due in stores on June 13, the caspule collection features three polo shirts using different piqué techniques, and one layered T-shirtA shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body. made in Uniqlo’s pattented Dry EX fabric, which allows perspiration to dry faster. Check out the full collection here, and keep an eye for it onlineThe terms “online” and “offline” have specific meanings in regard to computer technology and telecommunications in which “online” indicates a state of connectivity, while “offline” indicates a disconnected state. Common vernacular extended from their computing and telecommunication meanings and refers specifically to an internet connection. Lastly, in the area of human interaction and conversation, discussions taking place during a business meeting are “online”, while issues that do not concern all participants of the meeting should be “taken offline” — continued outside of the meeting. at Uniqlo.com

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Uniqlo Australia makes history

Japanese retailer Uniqlo this week launched a first-to-market productIn marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. In retailing, products are called merchandise. In manufacturing, products are bought as raw materials and sold as finished goods. Commodities are usually raw materials such as metals and agricultural products, but a commodity can also be anything widely available in the open market. trialling campaign for its Heattech range.

The campaign utilises fast moving images to deliver a unique product code which is unreadable to the naked eye.

It involves a number of digital billboards installed in high traffic areas near Uniqlo stores across the country.

The billboards flash images at a speed of 20 – 30 frames per second to create a constantly changing unique code.

Consumers are only able to decipher the unique code once they take a photo of the display unit on a phone camera – capturing the code in situ.

Shoppers are then asked to upload the five digit code to a campaign website to redeem a free piece of clothing from Uniqlo’s Heattech range.

The campaign will run until May 29.

Uniqlo Australia marketing director Tracey Lang said the campaign is in line with the company’s broader customer strategy.

“At Uniqlo we are always looking for different ways to encourage product trial and allow our consumersA consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities. to experience the hidden details of our range.

“Our garments are created with high-tech fabric to help consumers be more comfortable yet many Australians aren’t aware of these features until they experience the product first hand.

“Innovation and technology are at the heart of each and every one of our products – and at the core of the Uniqlo philosophy.

“We’ve seen from our past U-Mood campaign – which monitored people’s moods to match them to a t-shirt print – that consumers are always looking for new ways to engage with our products.

“We’re really excited to be at the forefront of product trialling technology with our Uncover campaign – and to be able to deliver memorable experiences to surprise and delight our consumers.”

The Heattech range is a core inner wear product for Uniqlo globally, using weaving techniques to retain heat whilst remaining light weight and comfortable.

The range uses fibres the size of one tenth of a human hair to knit together a super warm, super thin fabric which traps heat whilst absorbing moisture away from the skin.

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UNIQLO is giving away clothes until Sunday

UNIQLO is running a crazy giveaway to trial its new HEATTECH range (for the unfamiliar, that’s UNIQLO’s special line of light-weight undergarments that are breathable but super warm and beat the shit out of nana-style spencers).

UNIQLO’s installed digital billboards across the country, which are flashing high speed images of its trademark HEATTECH winter-warming gear. All you have to do is take a pic on your Smartphone to preserve a unique, five-digit code attached to the image (you can’t see it with the naked eye), go here to upload it and follow the instructions to redeem a free bit o’ clothingClothing (also called clothes) is fiber and textile material worn on the body. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of nearly all human societies.. The campaign runs until Sun May 29 and over 500 pieces have been claimed so far. Win, win.

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UNIQLO & Theory Fuse Japanese Engineering With New York Style in New Capsule

UNIQLO has announced its latest collaboration with Theory on a line of men’s polos and T-shirtsA shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body.. More specifically, the capsule line features three men’s polo shirts and one men’s T-shirt that combine the wicking performance of UNIQLO’s functional fabrics with Theory’s fit and styling.

The Dry Pique line of polo shirts comprises full open and pullover styles inspired by traditional polo shirts. The items feature off-white plackets and collars. The pullover polos with twill collars are ideal office wear, with a crisp, clean-cut aesthetic.

The Dry EX line on the other hand features UNIQLO’s revolutionary fabric, which quickly dries perspiration to keep wearers cool and comfortable. Ribbed cuffs with fine stripes add sophistication, while a hemline binder prevents flaring during sports use.

The UNIQLO x Theory will be available in select UNIQLO stores and onlineThe terms “online” and “offline” have specific meanings in regard to computer technology and telecommunications in which “online” indicates a state of connectivity, while “offline” indicates a disconnected state. Common vernacular extended from their computing and telecommunication meanings and refers specifically to an internet connection. Lastly, in the area of human interaction and conversation, discussions taking place during a business meeting are “online”, while issues that do not concern all participants of the meeting should be “taken offline” — continued outside of the meeting. beginning June 13.

UNIQLO also recently relaunched their collaborative collection with KAWS.

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How Low Will Uniqlo-Owner Go After Buyers Spurn High Prices

When Fast Retailing Co. introduces the fall and winter lineup for casual wear chain Uniqlo Wednesday, it will try to lure consumers who have kept purse strings so tight that the companyA company is an association or collection of individuals, whether natural persons, legal persons, or a mixture of both. Company members share a common purpose and unite in order to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals.’s billionaire chairman conceded its shift to higher prices over the past year had failed.
Analysts and investors will be watching as it unveils the new season’s LifeWear line in Tokyo to see whether Chairman Tadashi Yanai will come through with his pledge to offer the “lowest possible prices.” Sales globally are struggling, despite t-shirts on sale for $5.90 and stylish chino shorts at $19.90 on its website.
Fast Retailing and Muji owner Ryohin Keikaku Co. rose as much as 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, in Tokyo trading after the Nikkei newspaper reported the Uniqlo competitor’s operating profit may rise to a record in the March-to-May quarter. The Muji brand also specializes in casual wear, in addition to furniture and toiletries. A Ryohin Keikaku spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.
For a Gadfly commentary piece on Fast Retailing’s quick expansion, click here.
Uniqlo “will have to adjust prices to the lower side for a while until they revamp the lineup and come up with products whose value justifies higher prices,” Masafumi Shoda, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., said by phone ahead of the brand’s clothing preview.
Fast Retailing, Asia’s largest clothing retailer, is struggling in Japan where cautious consumersA consumer is a person or organization that uses economic services or commodities. are bracing for tougher financial times, despite more than three years of stimulus under Abenomics. Its earnings overseas were hurt by a stronger yen, compounded by losses in the U.S. and China’s slowdown.

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Olympia Le-Tan and Uniqlo Collaborate on Line of T-shirts, Totes

Olympia Le-Tan and Uniqlo have linked on a limited-edition collaboration of T-shirt and tote designsDesign is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams and sewing patterns).[1] Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, cowboy coding and graphic design) is also considered to be design., partially produced by displaced women in Malaysia and Afghanistan.

While already available in Japan, the collection was released exclusively at Colette in Paris on Monday and is slated for wider international distribution at Uniqlo stores beginning next Monday.

Each piece is inspired by memorable moments in Le-Tan’s design history — including fall 2014’s slinky ode to a deck of cards and spring 2015’s schoolhouse overture. The eight T-shirt designs are both screen-printed and embroidered — some to mimic Le-Tan’s cheeky handbags and others transposing drawings by the designer’s illustrator father, Pierre. “We sort of did a best-of,” Le-Tan told WWD of the collection’s intent.

She’d already begun work on T-shirt designs for the Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., subsidiary when a Uniqlo representative asked her if she would like the collection to include a tie-in with UNHCR, the U.N.’s refugee agency.

“We first starting working on T-shirts and then someone who specifically works in that division at Uniqlo asked me to participate in the program. I asked for it to support women specifically and selected a few geographical regions that are good with embroidery,” Le-Tan said.

The collection grew to include a tote bag and key chain memento, incorporating an embroidered logo “OLT” patch, crafted by the women.

“With the time we had, we did what we could according to their skills,” explained the designer. The key chains were only produced in a very limited quantity, but about 2,000 tote bags — inspired by Le-Tan’s early milk carton purses — will be distributed worldwide.

Fast Retailing broke ground on its partnership with UNHCR in 2011 and in November 2015 pledged $10 million in sustained emergency aid relief over a three-year period to the cause. However, the Uniqlo x Olympia Le-Tan collection is the first case in which the company has directly supported career development among displaced individuals.

Designs retail for about 15 euros, or $16.97 at current exchange. Full proceeds from tote-bag salesA sale is the exchange of a commodity or money as the price of a good or a service.[1] Sales (plural only) is activity related to selling or the amount of sold goods or services in a given time period. and a portion of T-shirt proceeds will be donated to UNHCR.

To mark the collaboration’s release, Le-Tan has reissued the collection items that inspired each Uniqlo design — including the milk carton and chalk-box bags, which are available for pre-order on her Web site. “When [the collaboration] first came out in Japan, I kept seeing young girls posting pictures on Instagram and thought it would be nice for them to have the bag to match,” Le-Tan said.

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Uniqlo chief admits defeat on higher pricing strategy

TOKYO — The Uniqlo casual clothing chain will slash pricesprice is the quantity of payment or compensation given by one party to another in return for goods or services. and return to its simple pricing regime because price hikes in the past two years have proven to be a mistake, Tadashi Yanai, chairman and president of parent company Fast Retailing, said in a recent interview with The Nikkei.

“Customers didn’t agree that products with new, higher prices reflect fair value,” Yanai said. “The market was in a very tough situation. We made a mistake of raising prices under such circumstances. Consumer sentiment has turned out to be far worse than we thought.”

Restored pricing

Uniqlo raised prices 5% in 2014 and followed up with a 10% hike in 2015, in part to reflect changes in foreign exchange rates. The company’s stated thinking was that pricing should reflect fair value, and retailers are being selfish when they avoid price hikes and force suppliers to endure thin margins.

But the price hikes drove away Japanese consumers. Same-store customer traffic in Japan dropped 6.3% in the September 2015 to February 2016 period. To lure back shoppers, Uniqlo shaved prices 300 yen to 1,000 yen ($2.76 to $9.21) on some of its offerings in early February. But this apparently did not stem the tide.

“Our products used to have simple pricing, such as 1,990 yen and 2,990 yen,” the Uniqlo founder said. “The price hikes were a mistake also because they increased products with halfway pricing, such as 2,490 yen. We will bring back 1,990 yen, 2,990 yen and other simple and clear prices.”

Uniqlo will halt most of the weekend-only discounts it has been frequently offering, Yanai said, as stores instead offer low prices throughout the year so customersSA customer (sometimes known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a good, service, product, or idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier for a monetary or other valuable consideration. receive value whenever they visit.

Business owner’s perspective

“We didn’t achieve growth this first half (the six months through February). We only got bloated,” Yanai said. “Everyone was focusing only on their own section. They only chased after what was best for their own section. A lack of the business owner’s perspective among many of our workers made it impossible for our company to keep up with dramatic changes.

“The signs were already there in 2014, but we happened to achieve sales growth due to a cold winter,” he said. “We had it too easy in 2014. We continued to operate in the same way in 2015 and ended up with lower gross profit margins and higher costs.”

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Yes, Uniqlo is (Still) Coming to Tysons Corner Center

Washingtonians have been waiting for a Uniqlo for years.

By our reckoning, the first rumors started in 2013, when PoPville suggested that the Japanese fast-fashion retailer might arrive at CityCenterDC, based on a job listing for a Uniqlo employee in Washington, DC. Then there was the time in 2014 when window dressings for a Uniqlo went up at Springfield Town Center, after which, a Uniqlo representative told the Washington BusinessA business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Journal that it was “probably a mistake by the mall.”

Finally, a year ago, it was officially announced that Uniqlo would open in Tysons Corner Center this summer. We were all very excited (here are five reasons why)—but then months passed with no word. On March 25, Washingtonian reached out to Uniqlo to ask when the store would be arriving in Tysons Corner Center, only to receive the response: “We received your inquiry concerning the opening of a new store located in Tysons Corner Center. Unfortunately, we do not have any information regarding a storeA retail store where merchandise is sold, usually a product, usually on a retail basis, and where wares are often kept. in this location at this time. We are expanding our store locations every year, so we hope to have a store in your area soon.”

Feeling scared and alone, we reached out again on April 9, but received the response, “We do not currently have any confirmation of a store being opened in Washington,” on April 10. Finally, on April 13, Uniqlo responded with an announcement of the Tysons Corner Center–and yet the question still lingered–when, oh when, would this affordable-fashion hub grace us with its presence?

On April 20, word came: Fall 2016 is the official new date for the Tysons Corner Center opening. Only time will tell if this updated timeline becomes a reality, but in the meantime, we’ll be waiting on the edge of our seats.

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The choreographer behind Uniqlo’s ad on Taylor Swift and dancing in London

What was your brief and vision? The whole thing was to be edgy and very London. I knew I could bring a unique fusion of stylesStyle is a manner of doing or presenting things, especially a fashionable one. and dancers that would make it more “now” and commercial. I wanted choreography that was stunningly beautiful and would captivate the audience from the opening scene. I also wanted eight individual styles of movement that would contrast each other and the locations.

What inspired your choreography for the ad? My main inspiration was the dancers. They are each so quirky and genuine in their ways of moving. They embodied the feel for the ad and each had a raw undertone that I harnessed in creating their solos.

The locations also had a massive impact. Locations were scouted all over London, including derelict buildings, rooftops by train tracks, graffitied walls and river pathways. The harnessed dancers on the wall, the truck and the goalpost pushed me to create in different ways and think outside of my natural movement. I even got up there myself a few times!

What was your biggest challenge? The time restraints – I created eight two-and-a-half-minute solos. They had to be completely different but danced to the same piece of music. I only had an hour to rehearse with each dancer. After that, we had one day to try the solos and stunts on the apparatus with wardrobe, and then we were shooting.

How did you get into dance? I was six when I went to a Shania Twain concert and then begged my parents for tap shoes. From early on, I was creating little dances for my parents and anyone who would watch. I always enjoyed my own creations far better than rehearsing those of others. London has nurtured my creativity and gives me so much inspiration. That’s part of why this ad appealed to me.

How has your life changed since winning Got To Dance in 2013? I wouldn’t be where I am today without Got To Dance. I’m lucky to have had that show when I was beginning my career because it changed my life. I’m so grateful to every person who picked up the phone or voted onlineThe terms “online” and “offline” have specific meanings in regard to computer technology and telecommunications in which “online” indicates a state of connectivity, while “offline” indicates a disconnected state. Common vernacular extended from their computing and telecommunication meanings and refers specifically to an internet connection. Lastly, in the area of human interaction and conversation, discussions taking place during a business meeting are “online”, while issues that do not concern all participants of the meeting should be “taken offline” — continued outside of the meeting..

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