It still is a mystery to many that an unknown Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer, Uniqlo, selling inexpensive, flashy yet modern clothes, became the envy of every retailer in Asia. The company now has its eyes set on worldwide expansion, and has turned itself into a “world’s top casual brand.”
With 950 stores globally, Uniqlo has been operating in the retail space since the 1980s. But, it is in the last 5 years that the company has pushed itself head and shoulders above others and is now mentioned in the same breath as Gap, Zara and H&M.
Uniqlo is known as a brand that concentrates on innovative design and technology for clothing. It was the first company in Japan to establish an SPA (Specialty store retailer of Private label Apparel), also known as “fast fashion”, model encompassing all stages of the business--from design and production to final sale.
Uniqlo is known to promptly make adjustments to its production strategies to reflect latest sales trends and develop unique products to differentiate itself from other companies. The SPA model also allows it to minimize its operation costs.
Meanwhile, Uniqlo’s unique strength is its ability to offer moderately priced garments made with luxury materials like cashmere, Supima cotton, Merino wool and premium down. This ability of Uniqlo is backed up by its ability to negotiate directly with global material manufacturers and procure mass-volume orders at low-cost.
Uniqlo is all set to conquer the fast fashion space with sales expected to achieve the company’s 2020 target of USD 500 billion. But for now, with 70 per cent of its products made in China, Uniqlo’s prime target is to capture the lucrative Chinese market, where the luxury market is losing steam.