Uniqlo, a division of Tokyo-based Fast Retailing, currently operates 46 stores in the U.S. and 16 in Canada. Over the next four years the company aims to have that number jump to 200, according to Daisuke Tsukagoshi, chief executive officer of Uniqlo North America.
The first store in America opened 16 years ago in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
Because Uniqlo sells its own brand, it took a while for customers in North America to discover the company. So the company invested in brand marketing to introduce itself to U.S. consumers. It also offered hefty promotional pricing to lure shoppers.
Tsukagoshi said the North American division made a profit last year for the first time, giving the company the incentive it needed to expand its reach.
Top sellers in the U.S. included seasonal launches of HeatTech and down outerwear, along with year-round products such as Airism cotton oversize T-shirts, rayon blouses and wireless bras. In Canada, HeatTech, Ultralight down, fleece and other core winter merchandise performed the best.
Tsukagoshi plans to open around 20 stores a year in the U.S.