Japanese apparel chain Uniqlo has confirmed Melbourne as its first port of call as it pushes into the Australian market.
As previously reported on ragtrader.com.au, the brand – owned by Japanese retail holding company Fast Retailing Group – initially said that, following the establishment of a subsidiary on local soil, the company would aim to open the first Uniqlo store in Australia by August, 2014.
However, while its initial entry has been delayed Uniqlo has now signed on to launch its first official store in Australia in Melbourne at the CBD located Emporium Melbourne, for Autumn 2014.
Uniqlo's market entry into Australia marks the latest step in its ongoing international expansion as it continues to strengthen its international retail network and its “active growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region”.
Since the opening of its first store in Japan in 1984, Unliqlo has built a network of more than 1,200 stores across 14 markets.
The brand debuted in Singapore in 2009, followed by Malaysia and Taiwan in 2010, Thailand in 2011, the Philippines in 2012, and Indonesia earlier this year (2013).
Commenting on its plans for the Australian market going forward, Uniqlo said it views Australia as “a key market in establishing its brand in the Asia and Oceania region and a first step into markets in the southern hemisphere”.
Uniqlo CEO Australia Shoichi Miyasaka and Fast Retailing Group Senior Vice President added that the brand has high hopes for success in the Australian market.
"We are very excited to be opening our first store in Melbourne, Australia. The city is a great centre of style and we hope to make UNIQLO an essential stop for fashion-conscious Melbourne shoppers looking for high quality, affordable clothes.
“Our goal is to build a loyal customer base by offering every visitor the outstanding level of customer service that Uniqlo is known for within Japan, in a comfortable and welcoming shopping environment."
The Uniqlo Melbourne store will be located at the Emporium Melbourne. 269-321 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria and is set to span approximately 2,180 square meters.
Uniqlo is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and Uniqlo. With global sales of approximately 928 billion yen for the 2012 fiscal year ending August 31, 2012, Fast Retailing is currently the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company, and Uniqlo is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.
Uniqlo continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. Today the company has a total of more than 1,200 stores in 14 markets worldwide including Japan, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and U.S. In addition, Grameen Uniqlo, a social business established in Bangladesh in September 2010, opened its two first stores in Dhaka in July 2013. Uniqlo operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel.