Monthly Archives: September 2016

Is Uniqlo unique enough to make it?

Japanese giant clothing retailer Uniqlo is arriving in Toronto’s Eaton Center.

https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/09/29/uniqlo-opens-its-first-canadian-store.html

It’ll be intriguing to see how they go about carving out a slot for themselves. Whether their USP resonates with enough customers, is yet to be verified. In the GTA, imo

  • Fast Fashion is owned by Zara and H&M.
  • Classic style by Michael Kors, The Bay.
  • Elite designer style by Nordstrom, Saks, Holts.
  • Discounted ‘badge’ apparel by hr2, the Rack, ¬†Marshalls, Winners.
  • Men’s quality affordables? Moores, TipTop (they sell Calvin Klein!).

Uniqlo is destined to be a provider of durable, well constructed ‘new classics’ in multiple colour shades; in the GTA market, they may be in a similar space as Joe Fresh or perhaps Le Chateau. A step above Reitmans or TipTop or Moores. And what about Simons? Arriving (in Mississauga this past March) this savvy Quebec-based banner has a proven ability to offer quality in-style pieces, and decades of success servicing our (more style-conscious) brethren in so-French Canada.

Watch this market battle closely! I don’t expect Uniqlo to mess up inventory selection and logistics the way dearly departed Target did, yet, even with superb execution, Uniqlo’s success is not a foregone conclusion.

They need Marketing impact; watch for them to select homegrown Canuck celebs & to generously bulk up next year’s TIFF swag-bags. What if they were to play a role as primary investor bringing back the defunct World (formerly MasterCard) Fashion Week, to Toronto? THAT would certainly buy them some goodwill and be an attention-getting move for a style-conscious audience.

SL