Japanese casual-clothing chain Uniqlo’s new store in Singapore takes up three floors – and marks its biggest gamble in Southeast Asia yet.
In the Orchard Road shopping precinct, the 2700 sqm Uniqlo Singapore flagship is the brand’s largest store in the region. Its parent, Fast Retailing Co, is opening Uniqlo stores in the US, London and across Asia to help reduce its dependency on its home market where household spending is falling.
Uniqlo has about 130 outlets across Southeast Asia, opening a six-storey China flagship store in Shanghai a year ago. Chairman Tadashi Yanai says he has plans to open 100 stores a year in China on it way to a potential 3000. There are about 30 stores each in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, in Japan Uniqlo closed a net six stores in August, as same-store sales decreased by 1 per cent year-on-year. Sales at company-owned stores slipped by 0.5 per cent, but the company’s increasing online business saw overall sales increase by 0.2 per cent.
Uniqlo cited cooler temperatures in the first half of the month and heavy typhoons from mid-month onward for the store sales decline.