TOKYO — Uniqlo opened the doors of its newest large-format store on Friday, in the historic and culturally significant neighborhood of Asakusa. The store follows the concept of “our neighborhood” and aims to support the area’s local businesses, residents and artisans.
With a selling area of more than 21,000 square feet, Uniqlo Asakusa also boasts one of the longest continuous store windows of any Uniqlo store. It is located in the heart of Asakusa, which prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was bustling with international tourists on any day of the week. The area is known for its historic pedestrian lanes lined with souvenir stores and leading up to Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple and one of its most significant. It is also a district that hosts the workshops and stores of many traditional craftspeople, some of whom Uniqlo featured in various ways inside the store.
The double-level main entrance to the store is dominated by a giant paper and wooden lantern, which was created by a local workshop and hand-painted with the Uniqlo logo. At nearly six feet per side, it was both the largest lantern the shop had ever created, as well as the first cubic one. In addition, signage used throughout the store was inspired by “senjafuda” votive strips that are a common sight at temples and shrines across Japan.
Uniqlo also collaborated with local businesses on various products to mark the opening of the store. For example, small ceramic plates designed with traditional snack-maker Asakusa Tokiwado will be available for sale in limited quantities, while original tea cups will be given to the first 3,000 customers to spend 5,000 yen or more during the opening weekend. There are also original UTme! stamps that are only available at the Asakusa store to use in customizing T-shirts and tote bags.
Throughout the store, Uniqlo has highlighted products from local shops, from stationery to skateboards, encouraging customers to explore the neighborhood in order to purchase such items and discover others. Other features of the store include a larger than usual space where customers can try on and order tailor-made items, areas highlighting sustainability and fitting rooms that feature artworks by a local artist and photographs of Asakusa from the past and present.