Uniqlo to debut in Sweden this autumn
It may sometimes seem that the giants of global fashion retail are already in just about every market worldwide, but they’re clearly not and Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo is one that takes its international expansion very cautiously.
The company has just announced that it will this year open in giant rival H&M’s backyard with a debut in Sweden. It will actually be Fast Retailing's first entry in the entire Nordics region and will start with a store in key market Stockholm.
As mentioned, Japan’s Uniqlo has been cautious about its international expansion following some less-than-successful debuts in past years. Its initial entry into the UK market was choppy, despite later success, and more recently it has struggled in the challenging US market.
But strong demand in Asia, a growing UK and mainland Europe business, and entry into key markets such as Spain last year, have buoyed its confidence.
The company last week reported sales up almost 8% in its latest quarter on the back of its international growth.
So what do we know about the rollout plan for Sweden? Very little. The store will open this autumn and we know it will be in Sweden’s capital. Apart form that, there’s no other information.
The new store will add to a European total that currently stands at only 70 locations, even though Uniqlo is the biggest fashion chain in Asia.
How quickly it will open other Nordic locations isn’t yet known. But Fast Retailing CEO Tadashi Yanai is sticking to his ambition to overtake H&M and Zara parent Inditex of Spain as the world’s leading clothing retailer. If the Swedish launch goes well, we could be hearing about more openings in the region sooner rather than later, despite the firm’s cautious strategy.
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