Uniqlo is set to enter the Canadian market. The Japanese fast-fashion chain, owned by Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., will open two stores in Toronto this fall. A 27,400-square-foot store will open at CF Toronto Eaton Centre on Sept. 30 and a 25,500-square-foot store will open at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Oct. 20.
Canada will be the 18th geographic market for Uniqlo, which is embarking on a major international expansion drive with a big emphasis on China and other Asian markets. It will be interesting to see how Canadian shoppers receive the brand as Uniqlo’s efforts have stumbled in the United States, where it lacks name recognition and scale. Uniqlo has just 44 stores in the U.S., compared to 467 in China.
Canada’s economic climate appears to be a tough at the moment. Last month, IMG Canada said it is pulling the plug on Toronto Fashion Week due to lack of financial support on a local level. That said, foreign brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin are expanding in the country.