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Uniqlo Plans to Open Fifth Avenue Flagship

The store will be the Japanese brand's second boutique in New York.

TOKYO — Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. said Monday it has signed a lease for a new Uniqlo store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

This story first appeared in the April 20, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A spokeswoman said an opening date has not been established, adding that it’s unlikely to happen this year. The 89,340-square-foot flagship will be located at 666 Fifth Avenue.

The Fifth Avenue store will be the Japanese brand’s second location in New York. Its 36,000-square-foot SoHo unit opened in 2006.

The spokeswoman declined to provide further details on the format of the upcoming Fifth Avenue flagship.

Uniqlo has spearheaded an international push in recent years, rolling out stores in Paris, London, Singapore and Moscow, as well as several locations in South Korea and China. Next month, the brand will open a flagship in Shanghai, coinciding with the opening of the World Expo.

Asked what has surprised him the most about doing business in the U.S., Shin Odake, chief operating officer of Uniqlo USA, said, “I was surprised that, for the most part, what sells in Japan also sells in the U.S. What people are looking for is strikingly similar around the globe.”

Moreover, Uniqlo’s product has been accepted almost as is. “We haven’t made any changes except for the fit adjustment,” he said.