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  • Tim Wagner

    I love challenges that demand curiosity, deep analytical thinking and opportunities to cross-pollinate between industries, work roles and borders. As an innovation driver at btrax I work to identify gaps of opportunity in markets, creating processes, brand stories and strategic partners to create unique experiences. Something spark your interest? Start a conversation @wagner_tim

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  • May 29, 2013


The Rise of Fast Fashion – Uniqlo’s Goal to be #1 in the US

LiAnn - UNIQLO_NY_5th_Avenue

Uniqlo NYC 5th Ave.
Photo By Wonderwallpress via Wikimedia Commons

As the number one apparel chain in Asia, Uniqlo is aiming for a similar success in the US market, with an ambitious goal of “$10 billion in revenue in the United States by 2020.”

The strategy according to Uniqlo’s CEO and Japan’s wealthiest man, Tadashi Yanai, is to continue massive store launches and expansions — as seen in New York, New Jersey and San Francisco, California.

It’s clear that Uniqlo is serious about growth and more importantly, serious about strategic localization efforts. Global domination is no longer a matter of when, but how?

Thinking Global, Acting Local  

Before the launch of Uniqlo’s WestCoast flagship store in October 2012, the buzz amid fashion bloggers and pop culture enthusiasts grew as Uniqlo announced several panel events free to the public.

These “Uniqlo Talks Fashion” helped position the company as thought leaders in the space of innovation and technology-focused design; but moreover, the curation of these panels (which included editor of Refinery29, and the Director of Merchandising for the School of Fashion at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco) incorporated the right kind of local taste that makes Uniqlo stand apart from other fast fashion competitors.

But are panel events, exclusive photo opps with San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana and a People Campaign enough to completely infiltrate the American market?


LiAnn - Uniqlo

Uniqlo San Francisco Opening
Photo by kennejima

Uniqlo x Collaboration

The answer to Uniqlo’s localization efforts can work, if collaboration is genuine and culturally authentic. Longevity means that trending designers are not fads, but are timeless. Local events are not just relevant, but are accessible.

For Uniqlo to truly understand the American customer, it boils down to taking an approach that extends beyond the typical — into something that inspires and speaks to a lifestyle.



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