Back in 2001, an up-and-coming retailer from Hiroshima opened a branch of its reasonably priced wares in the swank Ginza district. Even then people considered this a bold move by Uniqlo, whose casual, utilitarian fashions were considered unworthy of high street. Now fast forward to the present: Uniqlo’sGinza Flagship just had a makeover, the company recently posted a 31% sales jump and branches are popping up all over, including flagship stores in New York and Paris. The founder and new “Maestro of Cool,” Tadashi Yanai, is the richest man in Japan.
What have they done so right?
Well you could start with the price-to-quality factor. Japan’s economic doldrums have been hard on many, and luxury goods like Versace are suffering here. Anyone who can make clothing that’s relatively cheap and lasts longer than a season will get the attention of the frugally-minded. The present jeans price war may be the best example of this phenomenon.
Read the full piece at Japan Pulse.