The popular Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo, a company founded by Tadashi Yanai has climbed up the ladder to becoming one of the hottest retail brands globally. Their very first store opened its doors in Hiroshima, Japan in 1984 under its original name, Unique Clothing Warehouse which was soon joined together and Uniqlo was born. Today, they own over 800 stores worldwide and have landed 4th place for largest retailer coming right behind Gap, H&M and Zara. But what makes them so successful? We’ve gathered top 5 reasons for their success and why people love them.
1. Their affordable high-quality clothing
One thing we struggle to find these days is good quality clothing that is also budget friendly. Nine out of ten times, those words don’t blend well together. However, Uniqlo has a clear vision to provide high quality, performance-enhanced, basic casual wear at the lowest prices so it is easily accessible to everyone in the market.
2. Their ‘Made For All’ slogan
Unlike many brands we see today, Uniqlo’s clothing is up-to-date and fashionable but not trendy. So instead of competing with designers off the runway, Uniqlo focuses on more of classic looks that don’t go out of style, like Oxfords and Polos but only at affordable prices. Blouses, slim fitting bottoms and lightweight outerwear are Uniqlo’s staples and they are offered in every color a shopper might want. They are also available in a wide variety of sizes to make sure their clothing is suitable for every customer that walks in.
3. Their emphasis on their in-store experience
Every morning, employees practice the ways they are taught to interact with shoppers including standard phrases like “Hello, my name is (blank). How are you today?”. You will be sure to not enter their stores without being greeted and welcomed with smiling employees that are eager to help you.
4. Uniqlo brands its innovations
One of their signature innovations is HeatTech, a fabric developed in conjunction with a material science firm that turns moisture into heat and has air pockets in the fabric to retain that heat. The HeatTech fabric is thin, comfortable and enables stylish designs very different from the standard for warmth clothing. The HeatTech innovation keeps improving over time with new fiber technology. In 2003, 1.5 million HeatTech products were sold while in 2012 over 130 million units were sold over 250 items.
5. Behind every brand, is a great leader
Tadashi Yanai’s influence is everywhere. He supports a strong, unique culture that is hard to duplicate which pushes for innovation, customer experience, teamwork and organizational goals. His employees are encouraged to make suggestions which only indicates a hands on leader. But even more, his passion, drive and ambitions for Uniqlo is beyond incredible.
So what’s next for the company that has become a retailer’s envy? Well, Yanai makes it clear that he has ambitious plans to be the leader of retail in the U.S. and worldwide which just could become a reality with Uniqlo’s rapid growth. We’ll just have to wait and see!