Uniqlo May Explore U.S. Growth Online
We’ve seen it with American companies looking to expand overseas. Open a website to gain some understanding of a market before rapidly rolling out stores. The situation, of course, may also work in reverse as may be the case with the Japanese retailer Uniqlo, which according to an Advertising Age report, is looking for "partners" to help it build and launch an e-commerce site, a "digital flagship," in the U.S. by October.
The company’s overall goals include achieving sales of $20 billion by 2020 with 20 percent of that being conducted online. The company is also looking to open at least 200 stores in the U.S. by that time.
Currently, Uniqlo has opened two new flagship stores in New York over the past year but has no e-commerce presence. It does operate shopping sites in other countries including its native Japan and the U.K.
Uniqlo company spokesperson Mary Lawton downplayed the Ad Age report.
"We continue to explore the possibility of launching e-commerce. However, at this time, we are a long way away from confirming when specifically this will happen in the U.S.," said Ms. Lawton in a statement. "As we have said in the past, when we launch e-commerce in the U.S. we want to be sure it will benefit our customers, and currently we do not have a plan that meets that expectation."
- Japanese Retailer Uniqlo Exploring Online Store for U.S. – Advertising Age
- Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo May Open 200 Clothing Stores in the U.S. by 2020 – Bloomberg News
Discussion Questions: Do you see a website first approach as the best way for companies such as Uniqlo to crack the American market or are physical stores a “requirement” for success in the U.S.? What foreign retailer would you point to as the model that others can learn from when it comes to making it in America?