Uniqlo welcomes shoppers at new stores in Shanghai

Kyodo

Fast Retailing Co., the casual clothing retailer better known for its Uniqlo brand, opened two shops Monday in Shanghai, marking its entry into the Chinese market.

Fast Retailing is apparently changing its business strategy to make up for slumping sales in Japan, using China not only as a production base but also making it a major retail front.

“Of all our products sold in Japan, 90 percent have been made in China, but we also have to sell them in China from now on,” Fast Retailing President Tadashi Yanai told a news conference Sunday in Shanghai. “We aim to enter the world market eventually, but to achieve this goal we need to establish an integrated business system in China, covering manufacturing and sales.”

One of the two outlets is in a shopping complex in the Huangpu district and has about 1,000 sq. meters of floor space.

The other, with about 800 sq. meters, is housed in a shopping center in the Hongkou district.

At the outlet in Hongkou, about 500 people rushed to the shop even before its opening.

Fast Retailing’s domestic sales have been plummeting, prompting it to change its marketing strategy. It already has 15 outlets in Britain.

“We want to be the leader in terms of quality and volume in China in the coming decade,” Yanai said, indicating the company plans to establish more outlets in China.