By  on August 14, 2006

NEW YORK — What does it take to get the attention of jaded New Yorkers? A lot, apparently, judging by the efforts of some retailers.

In the last year, H&M presented a runway show in Bryant Park replete with live performances by Kanye West, John Legend and Miri Ben-Ari, J.C. Penney set up a temporary store with the latest point-of-sale technology in Times Square and Target staged a vertical runway with models strutting down the side of an office tower in Rockefeller Center.

Now Uniqlo, the Japanese retailer specializing in low-priced basics such as sweaters, jeans, T-shirts and sweats, will try its own publicity stunt when it delivers container stores modeled after a ship's cargo containers to various locations in Manhattan and beyond during Labor Day weekend.

The container stores, which are a precursor to the October opening of Uniqlo's 36,000-square-foot flagship at 546 Broadway, will operate every weekend until the SoHo store opens.

Made from corrugated metal on the outside and fitted with shelves inside, the container stores will arrive from Tokyo. They'll be transported from the pier on flatbed trucks, lifted by cranes and placed on streets in the West Village, East Village, New York University area, Upper West Side, Union Square and Upper East Side, here. Container stores will visit Jones Beach in Wantagh, N.Y., and Cobble Hill and Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Uniqlo said merchandise sold at the container stores would vary to reflect the demographics of each neighborhood.

The container stores won't be Uniqlo's first appearance here. In June, the company opened a temporary store at 486 Broadway. Prior to that, it operated a temporary shop at 76 Greene Street. The temporary unit on Broadway will operate through the end of September.

Uniqlo's SoHo flagship will be the largest of the company's 730 stores worldwide. Uniqlo hired interior designer Masamichi Katayama, whose firm, Wonderwall, has designed shops for A Bathing Ape, Original Fake and Pierre Hermès Paris, to set the tone for the flagship.

Uniqlo last year opened three units in New Jersey: at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, at Rockaway Townsquare in Rockaway and at the Freehold Raceway Mall in Freehold.Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent, also owns Comptoir de Cotonnier in France and One Zone in Japan.

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