Taking a Look at UNIQLO

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In 1984, the first UNIQLO store opened in Hiroshima, Japan. Fast Retailing Group, founded by Tadashi Yanai, decided to name its first sub-branch store Unique Clothing Warehouse and later changed its name to UNIQLO (Figure 1). This small causal wear store gained immediate attention from the Japanese population and soon began expanding aggressively in Japan. By 1994, there were over 100 UNIQLO stores operating throughout Japan, and in 1998 they opened their first urban store in Tokyo. Tadashi Yanai was quick at spotting a set of strategies used by the American retailer The GAP, known as SPA (specialty store/retailer of private-label apparel), and adopted this model in 1997, where they started to produce their own clothing and sell it exclusively. In 2001, sales turnover and gross profit reached new peak, with over 500 retail stores throughout Japan. As a result, Chairman, President and CEO, Yanai wanted to expand globally. Fast Retailing Group decided to open their first UNIQLO stores outside of Japan in London. Unfortunately, the stores did not gain as much traction as anticipated and many eventually closed down. In 2002, UNIQLO wanted to make their stand in Shanghai, China, but once again was unsuccessful. Three years later, they decided to open in New Jersey, U.S., however, it did not yield good results and was forced to close down. Therefore, UNIQLO had faced many failed attempts at becoming a global retailer due to factors such as consumer differences,

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