Uniqlo Takes on Paris

Japanese clothes giant opens first of 10 planned stores for world’s fashion capital
Posted October 2, 2009

Uniqlo (Tokyo) has opened a multi-level, 23,000-square-foot flagship in the heart of Paris, near the Garnier Opera house and department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

Fast Retailing, which owns Uniqlo, says it’s aiming for up to 10 more in the world's fashion capital. The cheap chic brand’s next high-profile launch is Moscow in spring 2010. The company operates 875 Uniqlo stores worldwide, including New York and London; 761 of its stores are in Japan.

A day after the Paris opening, the company unveiled its renovated Uniqlo store in Tokyo's Ginza district. The renovated space features two buildings – including the former outlet, which the company has occupied since October 2005, and part of an adjacent building – for a total floor space that’s 1.5 times bigger than before. ''Through large Uniqlo outlets, we are able to secure a bigger selling space and in so doing, we can offer a wider selection and have more flexibility to make an appealing presentation of our products,'' says Takashi Igarashi, global marketing and communication manager of Fast Retailing.

Both stores also feature a new collection by luxury fashion designer Jil Sander under the brand ''+J.''

This week the company reported same-store sales at Uniqlo stores in Japan jumped 31.6 percent from a year earlier in September, marking the biggest monthly gain in 10 months.