Fans and fashionistas rejoice!
2010 marks a momentous time for Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo as they burst into Malaysian fashion retail scene for the first time. Fans and fashionistas alike rejoiced as the first Uniqlo store opened in Fahrenheit 88 in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur on 4 November 2010.
Uniqlo was founded as “Unique Clothing Warehouse” in 1984, a unisex casual wear store located in Hiroshima , Japan . Eventually, the name “Uniqlo” came up as a result of a contraction between “unique” and “clothing”. Today, Uniqlo stands as a full subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co Ltd and has more than 900 stores worldwide.
The retail giants crossed the borders of Malaysia just one year after breaking into the Singaporean market in 2009. Speaking to Onoguchi Satoshi, Managing Director of Uniqlo Singapore and Malaysia , he shares, “We entered Malaysia ahead of schedule, just one year after opening the store in Singapore , the initial plan was three.” He tells that the invitation to be the anchor tenant in Fahrenheit 88 was a chance that Uniqlo just couldn’t pass up, “We needed to be in Kuala Lumpur , we needed to be somewhere fashion focused like Bukit Bintang.”
The descent of Uniqlo upon the Malaysian fray has built up an incredible hype being the number one casual wear designer/retailer in Japan , thanks to its successful marketing strategies that have contributed much in generating a more than welcomed reception by the Malaysian public. In conjunction with the store’s grand opening, prices for their UT, UJ and Fleece collection were slashed considerably to attract the masses. Not only that, the first 1,000 customers in line during the store’s opening would receive special edition Uniqlo tote bags while the first 500 stood a chance to win a trip to Tokyo, Japan!
“…Uniqlo is open for all who are fashion sensitive…”
Uniqlo dives in the market with a unique angle as they don’t have a specific target market, “We don’t segment our market, Uniqlo is open for all who are fashion sensitive,” says Onoguchi. It is their philosophy to let the character define the product and not the other way around. No worries on variety as Uniqlo sits on a 23,034 sq ft lot in Fahrenheit 88 that holds more than 500 items which customers may choose from.
Some may wonder how Uniqlo manages to deliver quality products at a fraction of the price, a factor that has made the brand appealing to many. This is because Uniqlo controls all aspect of the process, from production to retail, enabling feedback to travel fast up the chain straight to the production team. Another would be Uniqlo’s ability to negotiate directly with suppliers and purchase in bulk while simultaneously the Takumi, a team of experienced individuals who oversees the production process in factories, is at hand to ensure the quality is on par. The +J collection however is a range that is catered towards a higher end market which shows the flexibility and reach of the brand.
Quality is surely there when it comes to Uniqlo, with an affordable price to boot, no wonder it garnered such attention even before the opening. Check out the latest Uniqlo store in Fahrenheit 88 and find out for yourself!
Open date: 4 November 2010
Location: Fahrenheit 88, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Size: 23,035 sq ft spread over 3 floors
First Malaysian outlet
Largest Uniqlo store in South East Asia
Japan ‘s number one fashion brand
Top 10 casual wear brand in the world
Uniqlo has 900 stores worldwide
Over 500 items
The +J collection is a collaboration between Uniqlo and premiere designer Jil Sander