Uniqlo USA is shaking up its executive ranks as it accelerates retail expansion.
Nobuo Domae, senior executive group officer at Tokyo-based Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., has assumed the chief executive officer post at Uniqlo USA. Shin Odake, who had held the title of Uniqlo USA ceo, will take charge of Uniqlo USA’s efforts on the East Coast, while former chief operating officer Yasunobu (Kenny) Kyogoku will handle them on the West Coast.
For Domae, the ceo job at Uniqlo USA is familiar. He was in the role from around 2005, the year the retailer initially dipped its toes in the U.S., to 2007, when he returned to Japan to oversee Uniqlo’s international development. Domae, who will remain in Japan, started at Fast Retailing in 1998.
Uniqlo USA has also named seasoned retail executive Larry Meyer coo. Meyer spent 11 years as executive vice president, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Forever 21. Prior to Forever 21, where Meyer’s responsibilities extended from store development to finance, he was cfo at Gymboree, cfo international at Toys ‘R’ Us and held various positions at PepsiCo.
“We welcome Larry Meyer to Uniqlo and the company’s senior management team, and we look forward to tapping into his expertise,” said Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and ceo of Fast Retailing. “Larry’s addition to the Uniqlo USA leadership team is a further indication of the global organization’s commitment to the important U.S. market.”
Meyer said, “I’m very excited to join Uniqlo and to be a part of the company’s next phase of growth in the U.S. Uniqlo’s unique commitment to clothing innovation through technology offers distinct opportunities for growth.”
Meyer is uniquely positioned to assist a fast-fashion company’s U.S. growth. During his tenure at Forever 21, the Los Angeles-based retailer went from roughly 100 stores to more than 500, including its first store in New York, and inaugurated different formats such as the larger XXI Forever and the accessories-oriented For Love 21.
Uniqlo has five stores in the country, the newest in San Francisco’s Union Square, but has outlined a goal to open 200 stores in U.S. shopping malls. It launched mall retail here in September with a store at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. Uniqlo USA’s sixth and seventh American locations will be in Palisades Center in West Nyack, N.Y., and Ridge Hill in Yonkers.