The first Uniqlo Vietnam store opened its doors today, marking the Japanese fast-fashion brand’s sixth market in Southeast Asia.
Setting its foot in one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, parent Fast Retailing hopes to strengthen its presence in both the country and the region at the same time as Vietnam becomes a manufacturing hub in the face of the ongoing US-China trade war.
“I think Vietnam has massive potential and will be one of the biggest consumer markets in the world,” said Tadashi Yanai, chairman and CEO of Fast Retailing prior to the opening.
Yanai described Vietnam as the key market in the region and an important part of the group’s development strategy.
He said Uniqlo is now producing US$3 billion worth of products in Vietnam annually and plans to increase that even further. However, this does not mean that Vietnamese consumers will experience lower prices for Uniqlo products.
“We implement a medium- and long-term pricing strategy to ensure revenue and profit for each store… We want to compete with high quality, sustainable products at reasonable prices, not [by] discounting,” said Osamu Ikezoe, Co-CEO of Uniqlo Vietnam.
Uniqlo is already planning its second store in the country, which will be located in the capital city of Hanoi.
“We are not talking about 100 stores in Vietnam,” said Yanai. “Much more.”
The company says it is focusing on physical stores, with no plans to deploy an e-commerce sales channel as yet.
Located opposite stores of rival fast-fashion chains H&M and Zara, Uniqlo Vietnam’s first store in Ho Chi Minh City is also its largest outlet in Southeast Asia to date, with a gross floor area of 3107sqm across three storeys.