Uniqlo plans to take advantage of the captive yet transient audience that pours through Washington, D.C.’s Union Station daily, with a 3,400-square-foot store bowing Oct. 10.
The Union Square unit will be Uniqlo’s 46th store in the U.S. and second in the Washington metro area, after a store at Tyson’s Corner Center in McLean, Va., bowed last year. The Union Square store follows the Sept. 28 opening of a pop-up shop on F Street in downtown Washington.
“Union Station is a central hub in Washington, D.C., for business leaders, tourists and locals, welcoming thousands of visitors every day,” said Hiroshi Taki, chief executive officer of Uniqlo USA. “We look forward to introducing our high-quality, functional apparel to on-the-go customers.”
Union Station retailers include H&M, Jos. A. Bank, Bluemercury, Kiehl’s, MAC, Nine West, Swatch, Ann Taylor, Swarovski and Tumi, among others.
Uniqlo’s Union Station store will be located on the main level, adjacent to Amtrak ticketing. It will open at 7 a.m. on weekdays to serve morning commuters, closing at 9 p.m. The store will carry collections for men and women, with a special focus on grab-and-go items for customers quickly passing through the highly trafficked corridor.
Ultra Light Down, Heattech, innerwear, extrafine merino sweaters, fleece and jeans made from Japanese Kaihara denim will be sold in the store.
A new 10,000-square-foot store at Westfield Santa Ana in Arcadia, Calif., underscores the retailer’s focus on clustering units in priority markets such as Los Angeles. The Westfield store is Uniqlo’s eighth location in the L.A. area.
Uniqlo invested in an R&D center in L.A., the Jeans Innovation Center, dedicated to developing denim. “We’re very inspired by L.A. and our customers in the market,” Taki said. “The sense of effortless style and approachability of our apparel seems to be aligned with the preferences of our customers in L.A., which will continue to be a priority market for us moving forward.
“Santa Anita customers are savvy, sophisticated shoppers who represent a diverse demographic,” added Taki. “Many are Millennials from Asia or are of Asian descent. Given Uniqlo’s roots in Japan, our relationship with Asian communities is strong in the U.S. There are also many young families in the area who we think will benefit from our functional products as well from our store’s dedicated kids and babies departments.”
Uniqlo to Go, the automated apparel vending machines deployed by the Japanese retail giant, bowed at the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport; Hollywood and Highland Center, L.A.; George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston; Queens Center in Elmhurst, N.Y.; McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas, and Hollywood Burbank Airport.
There are no plans at the moment to install Uniqlo to Go at Union Station, said Taki, adding that the company developed new concepts to streamline the shopping experience for rushed consumers that will be unveiled in the near future. “After all, our clothing is designed to make people’s lives easier,” he said. “Why wouldn’t our in-store experience continue to offer the same benefit?”