Will UNIQLO Take Over the World?

UNIQLO is building its brand outside of Japan through sports. The casual clothing chain, the fourth largest fashion retailer in the world, has sponsorship deals with Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori; Shingo Kunieda, a Japanese wheelchair tennis player; and tennis star Novak Djokovic, who was signed in May 2012, one month before the French Open. At the time, Djokovic, who had never one a French Open, quipped, “I hope the collaboration will bring me luck.” (It didn’t; he lost to Rafael Nadal in the final.)

UNIQLO, Adam Scott, PGA, NYC, clothing, unique clothing

Adam Scott. Photo from UNIQLO.com

But UNIQLO’s timing was much better with its newest Global Brand Ambassador, Australian pro golfer Adam Scott. On April 9 UNIQLO announced that it signed Scott to a multi-year contract, and less than a week later, Scott, then ranked seventh in the world, became the first Australian to win the Masters.

“I am also very happy to have won so soon after I began my partnership with UNIQLO,” said Scott after he donned the green jacket. “Their clothes, in particular their polo shirt, helped me to look comfortable and at ease on the course.”

Partnering with world-class athletes is perhaps part of UNIQLO’s plan to take over the clothing world.

“We as a company are looking to achieve $50 billion in sales by the year 2020,” Yasunobu Kyogoku, COO of UNIQLO, told CBS Sunday Morning in March of this year. (To see the entire piece on UNIQLO, click here.)

Kyogoku also told CBS Sunday Morning that UNIQLO wants 200 stores in the United States by the end of the decade.

UNIQLO inches closer to that goal with its expansion in New York. On Friday, April 19 UNIQLO opened its seventh US store – and sixth in the New York metropolitan area – at Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers. UNIQLO’s other US stores are at Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, and on Broadway in Manhattan; the Palisades Center in West Nyack, New York; Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey; and in San Francisco.

UNIQLO, Adam Scott, PGA, NYC, clothing, unique clothing

COBU celebrates the opening of UNIQLO's Yonkers location. Photo by Audrey de Wys, My Father's Daughter Photography.

Another way the store worked to increase its presence in the city was to host the UT Truckshop every Saturday at Gansevoort Plaza. The final one is this Saturday, April 27 from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and features the “Love Me Light Show” with artist Curtis Kulig.