Japan's Uniqlo Plans to Open 100 Stores for Greater China Expansion

By | Oct 18, 2016 02:29 AM EDT
 A general view as UNIQLO 311 Oxford Street Store opens to the public on March 18, 2016 in London, England.

A general view as UNIQLO 311 Oxford Street Store opens to the public on March 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo : Getty Images)

Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo is eyeing on the Greater China market, with the aim of opening about 100 stores during the coming financial year.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing plans to reach an initial target of near doubling its number of outlets across the Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, to a thousand by 2020, Hong Kong-based website The Standard reported.

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"Second tier and third tier cities are still somewhere we shall extend our footprint given their considerable spending power," Tiger Pan Ning, Uniqlo's chief executive for greater China, told The Post in an interview.

The initiative came after Fast Retailing dealt with some hurdles, South China Morning Post reported. Uniqlo's condition has improved during the second half of the financial year that ended in August after a new price scheme was introduced.

Using the new strategy, Uniqlo International's profit leaped 81 percent to $130.8 million, thanks to China's growing middle class. Meanwhile, its Japan business increased 38 percent to $368.3 million.

"At Uniqlo International we expect operating profit will expand sharply in fiscal 2017, with continued strong profit gains predicted from Uniqlo Greater China and Uniqlo Southeast Asia and Oceania," the company said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.

Meanwhile, in partnership with Chinese e-commerce Alibaba, Uniqlo also earned as much as 637 million yuan ($94.5 million) during China's Single's Day extravaganza last year. In fact, it ranked the top-selling apparel brand during the event. Going forward, Uniqlo plans to create more ways to come up with online-to-offline solutions.

Furthermore, taking note of China's booming tourism industry, Uniqlo has also figured out opportunities to boost its sales, with Pan saying special campaigns marketing Uniqlo clothes could be carried out ahead of public holidays like the week-long Golden Week.

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