Uniqlo has made no secret of its ambition to reach $10 billion in sales in North America by 2020. The question has always been: How will the company reach that goal with just three stores in New York?
“We obviously need to begin this national expansion,” said Yasunobu Kyogoku, chief operating officer of Uniqlo USA, who is leading the expansion. “We want to have hundreds and hundreds of stores.
“I believe there are more opportunities in Manhattan as well as in New Jersey and Connecticut. We’re looking at the larger Tristate area. Also, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and other major cities are on our radar screen. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. there’s room for multiple stores. Our intention is to have multiple stores in each market and be present as a very prominent retailer,” he added.
Proving its national expansion goals, the Japanese fast-fashion brand has signed a lease for a 29,000-square-foot flagship at 111 Powell Street near Union Square in San Francisco. “It’s the center of innovation and hi-tech and software,” Kyogoku said of San Francisco. “It’s very important for us to be present in that market in a big way.”
Kyogoku said Uniqlo is opening a West Coast operations office in San Francisco to handle “logistics, human resources and the infrastructure one needs to put in place to facilitate expansion.” Prior to the opening of its Fifth Avenue flagship in New York last October, Uniqlo hired 50 store managers and took them to Japan for training, Kyogoku said. Some of the managers who were trained and work at the New York stores will be transferred to San Francisco. “We’re getting ready to hire the second wave of our manager-in-training program and take them to Japan,” he said.
Uniqlo said it will open mall stores and is having ongoing discussions with major landlords and real estate investment trusts.
Kyogoku admitted Uniqlo will have to build up its brand recognition on the West Coast, where it’s had limited exposure. A spokeswoman declined to say whether Uniqlo would use shipping containers transformed into pop-up stores to promote the brand in San Francisco as it had in New York. “Anything we’ve done in the past, we’re considering,” she said. “But if we were to do that, we’d try to do it in a way that’s unique to San Francisco.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty