UNIQLO said to double stores in SEA by 2022, eyes stand-alone stores in MY

UNIQLO said to double stores in SEA by 2022, eyes stand-alone stores in MY

UNIQLO aims to increase the number of stores in Southeast Asia and Oceania to approximately 400 by 2022. Its expansion plan will see a “key focus” on stand-alone suburban stores, which will help extend UNIQLO’s reach beyond shopping malls, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

The Japanese retailer has opened two stand-alone stores in Thailand and plans to do so in Malaysia and the Philippines. According to Satoshi Hatase, group senior vice president of UNIQLO parent Fast Retailing, the company’s new emphasis on stand-alone stores signifies a change in its regional expansion.

He added that UNIQLO has attained a “certain level of recognition” and as such, the timing for expansion “is right”. Nonetheless, Hatase said that there are still opportunities for more store openings in Southeast Asian shopping malls, Nikkei Asian Review said.

A+M has reached out to UNIQLO for comment on the Malaysia market.

Besides Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, UNIQLO also has stores in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. For the third quarter of its financial year ended May 2018 (Q3 2018), UNIQLO posted a revenue of 517.3 billion yen, a 12.4% increase from the same period last year.

UNIQLO International amassed a 23.7% increase in revenue to 208.6 billion yen during Q3 2018. According to its financial statement, UNIQLO International “far exceeded expectations” to achieve “significant gains” in both revenue and profit.

Southeast Asia and Oceania, Greater China and South Korea generated “especially large” profit gains. UNIQLO Southeast Asia and Oceania reported continued double-digit growth in same-store sales on the back of strong sales of UT T-shirts, polo shirts and short pants.

In the meantime, the reduction in operating losses at UNIQLO USA was achieved by reviewing product mixes and improving the accuracy of sales plans. UNIQLO Europe also reported rising overall same-store sales, thanks primarily to a strong performance from the Russia UNIQLO operation.

UNIQLO Japan posted a 6.3% increase in revenue to 210.7 billion yen in Q3 2018. Same-store sales for UNIQLO Japan increased by 5.4% on strong sales of AIRism, UT and DRY t-shirts and other summer items.

Meanwhile, Japanese discount casual wear manufacturer under Fast Retailing, GU, saw a 3.3% jump in revenue to 60.8 billion yen. Global brands under Fast Retailing, including Theory and Petit Vehicule SAS, had a 7.4% revenue increase to 36.3 billion yen.

In July this year, the retailer signed tennis star Roger Federer as its global ambassador. As such, Federer will wear UNIQLO on-court at all tournaments this year. This comes after he ditched his long-running agreement with Nike in March. In May, it announced that a global flagship storewill be launched in the Philippines this coming Fall/Winter season. It is said to be the largest UNIQLO store in the country and in Southeast Asia.