We already know that Uniqlo is making a big push into the American retail scene, doubling its store count. According to WWD that starts with the first of six Boston stores on August 29th. And more New York locations are on the horizon, adding to the five stores already in the city—three in Manhattan, one at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal, and another in Staten Island. So is Uniqlo going to plant a store in every neighborhood, á la Michael Kors or J. Crew?
Not necessarily—it looks like Uniqlo USA CEO Larry Meyer is wary of stacking stores on top of one another here. "In New York, the question is ultimately, how close do you want the stores to be? What is the rent structure and can you afford cannibalization?" he told the paper, adding that when it comes to clustering stores, "I'm not there yet."
We already know that one of those New York stores is outside of the city—the Japanese brand will debut in the Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall on Long Island at the end of August.
Plus, rising rents in the city are something he's considering with the brand expansion. "How economically successful can you be when rents are escalating?" Meyer asked, suggesting that future stores could forego a large ground level space and work on "getting people to the upper levels," where rents are cheaper.
"There's enormous opportunity," Meyer said of the expansion. "Uniqlo is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world and has been growing by double digits. We're confident we can become dominant in the U.S."
· Uniqlo to Nearly Double U.S. Store Count by Fall [WWD]
· How Uniqlo Plans to Become America's Top Retailer [Racked]
· Modern Art, Starbucks Take Over Uniqlo on Fifth Avenue [Racked NY]