By  on January 25, 2006

NEW YORK — Uniqlo is staying a little longer, but it's only temporary.

The Japanese retailer of low-priced luxury basics such as cashmere sweaters, jeans, T-shirts and sweats, opened a pop-up shop at 76 Greene Street here, between Spring and Broome Streets, in August. The store was to close on Sept. 30, but has been so successful that the company operated it through the holidays and has decided to keep it open until June.

Mike Kaiser, who oversees U.S. marketing for Uniqlo, said there might be an option to extend the lease even longer, but the company won't sign a permanent lease at this address. "The space was always viewed as temporary," he said.

As for opening a permanent Uniqlo store here, Kaiser said, "We're still figuring out our direction. There's no plan in place for a permanent store in New York. If it falls into the grander scheme of what we want to do in the U.S., then we will open a store."

The company, which last year opened three units in New Jersey at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, Rockaway Townsquare in Rockaway and Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold, has no plans for new stores outside of Manhattan, Kaiser said.

"The SoHo store has been doing better than expected," Kaiser said. "It seems that New York consumers respond very well to our offering."

Cashmere has been a bestseller. The company sells sweaters in 20 colors starting at $39.95. Innerwear has also been performing well. Jeans in stretch fabrics and unique washes, some embroidered or painted with plum blossoms, have been popular.

For spring, Uniqlo will feature cotton sweaters, sweatshirts, cargo pants and chinos.

While Uniqlo has advertised in The New York Times, The Star-Ledger and Metro, much of the traffic in the SoHo store has resulted from word of mouth, Kaiser said.

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