The largest Uniqlo, a Japanese retail giant, store is not located in Japan but is located in Beijing, China. As one of the most popular meet up places for a night out in Sanlitun Bar District in Beijing, this Uniqlo store covers 4 floors of colorful and wallet friendly trendy clothes. Uniqlo is one of the biggest retail competitors here in China from Japan. You hear alot these days about Chinese apparel brands coming to America but foreign brands are also busy rushing into the Chinese market to outsell their other global competitors. Gap is opening 4 stores encluding a flagship store in Shanghai. Since 2006, Zara has set up 34 stores in China, H&M with 27 stores, and Japan’s Uniqlo with 64stores around China. These are the main competitors here in China trying to eat up market shares of China’s largest retail brand giant Metersbonwe with 2,863 flagship stores(as of 2009) all around China which includes their luxury bland, ME&CITY targeting mid-twenty to thirty Chinese white collars. As a China brand, Metersbonwe combines the designs of top foreign designers and understanding of the Chinese consumer’s needs and taste in clothing. Metersbonwe has used branding techniques such as using rather popular US/European actors and models like Orlando Bloom and Wentworth Miller of “Prison Break”. Even for Li-Ning and other domestic sports brands in China are reaching for high profile athletes from the NBA and Olympic medalists like Yelena Isinbaeva, whom were Chinese favorites during the Beijing Olympics. What’s interesting to me is that more and more people in China, especially in the tier-1 to 2 cities, are buying Uniqlo saying that it’s cheap and not too expensive just like how Japanese consumers would put it. Uniqlo stores in China have much more clothing with the colors in yellow and red localizing to Chinese consumers tastes. With Uniqlo’s Heat Technology products lined up right by the entrance of the store to outlive Beijing’s cold and long winter, Uniqlo plans to expand more in China as Tadashi Yanai, CEO of Uniqlo, wants to open at least 1,000 more stores in China over the next 10 years.
Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at gokatayama.com.