NEW YORK — Get ready for Uniqlo’s one-two punch.
This story first appeared in the August 30, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Japanese retailer’s much-anticipated Fifth Avenue flagship — its largest store worldwide at 90,000 square feet — will bow Oct. 14, Uniqlo said. A week later, on Oct. 21, the company’s second-largest store, a 60,000-square-foot unit, will be unveiled on West 34th Street.
Walking through a three-story all-glass entrance, shoppers will be ushered into the latest Uniqlo prototype. The flagship was designed in partnership with architecture firm Wonderwall with an emphasis on sleek, modern design and technology. Over 300 LED screens are used to give the store a futuristic feel. The screens are used within the escalator banks, one of which is three stories high.
Ultramodern mannequins designed for Uniqlo — 500 of them — line the glass entrance and stand along the back wall near the store’s four high-speed elevators.
The 50,000 square feet of selling space will offer men’s and women’s basics, Heattech, Ultra Light Down, colorful cashmere, and Jil Sander’s collaboration, +J (which is coming to an end), will be showcased in a much larger shop-in-shop on the second floor, the company said. Uniqlo’s inaugural store opened on Broadway in SoHo in 2006.
Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., Uniqlo’s parent company, said it’s targeting 5 trillion yen, or about $59.5 billion at current exchange, in sales and 1 trillion yen, or about $11.9 billion, in profits by 2020.
“To meet these targets, Fast Retailing plans to continue to open Uniqlo stores in major U.S. cities, expanding its presence in the U.S market,” said Shin Odake, U.S. chief executive officer.
Uniqlo unleashed a marketing campaign in July that includes three pop-up shops in Manhattan and illuminated Uniqlo cubes selling products at the High Line and other areas of the city. “Made for All,” an ad campaign, features a mix of accomplished New Yorkers. The images will be featured in print and digital media as well as nontraditional media vehicles that will help create “a Uniqlo citywide takeover,” the company said.