No trip to NY is complete without a stop at the massive 89,000 sq. ft. Uniqlo on 5th Ave.
While some of us continue to mourn the loss of Target, today's news (kind of, sort of) makes up for it. After years of speculation, Uniqlo is finally coming to Canada! The Japanese fashion-fashion giant announced this am that it will open its first two Canadian stores in Toronto in 2016 - the first at Yorkdale Mall and the second at Toronto Eaton Centre. “We embrace this milestone as an important step in the growth of our brand,” said Larry Meyer, chief executive officer of Uniqlo USA and Canada.
Uniqlo is a powerhouse in the cheap-chic world of fashion, with over 1,500 stores now operating worldwide. The store carries well-designed basics in every colour, making it a go-to for stylish minimalistas everywhere, including celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow. So what makes it different than a Joe Fresh or GAP? While Uniqlo has the power of scale to keep its prices low, its focus remains on fabric over fashion. According to this article in NY Mag, Uniqlo keeps a team takumi, or textile “masters,” on staff who specialize in areas like dyeing or sewing. A typical order will be around a million units of denim, fleece, or cashmere—often all the material the supplier makes. The company further increases its buying power by offering a smaller selection of fabrics, across a more limited selection of styles, than most other retailers.
We can't wait to finally be able to shop Uniqlo at home but as always when a retailer enters the Canadian market, we approach this new relationship with a healthy amount of cautious optimism. Will the prices be as awesome as they are in NY? Will we get the selection we expect from a giant like Uniqlo? And most importantly, how will this takeover affect our beloved Joe Fresh?