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Uniqlo Singapore gambling on three-storey store

Japanese casual-clothing chain Uniqlo’s new Orchard Rd store takes up three floors – and marks its biggest gamble in Southeast Asia yet.

The 2700 sqm Uniqlo Singapore flagship is Uniqlo’s largest store in the region and the 25th for Singapore. 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.

Chairman Tadashi Yanai, Japan’s richest man with a net worth of US$18 billion, will host a briefing in Singapore this week on the eve of the store’s opening. He says he aims to generate 5 trillion yen ($48 billion) in sales by 2020.

Uniqlo has about 130 outlets across Southeast Asia, opening a six-storey China flagship store in Shanghai a year ago. 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.

Queues formed for a peek at the new store when it opened.

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