Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo intends to turn a profit in its U.S. stores within the next few years. In the meantime, the company will continue with planned rapid expansion.
Uniqlo, owned by Fast Retailing, is relatively new to the U.S. market. The store opened its first flagship in New York's SoHo neighborhood in 2006. This week the brand opened a new store in Wayne, New Jersey, bringing the U.S. store count to 26, reported Reuters.
The company plans to boost that number to 39 outlets by mid-November. Due to the ambitious rollout plan, the brand has not turned a profit yet.
"We are investing in building our brand and building stores. That includes building a workforce that is capable of handling the road we are putting in place," Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA, told Reuters. Meyer is optimistic that the company would turn a profit in U.S. stores within a few years.
In Japan, Uniqlo's net sales grew 6.1 percent to $1.51 billion in the third quarter ended on May 31. International net sales jumped 57.7 percent over the same period.
The retailer plans to open 200 Uniqlo stores in the United States by 2020 as part of a broader push to keep up with competitors such as Spain's Inditex, which owns Zara, H&M and Gap.
With 10 to 15 locations opening a year in the United States, Meyer said the revenue would be consistent with what 200 stores would generate.
In spring, Uniqlo announced its coming entrance into two new markets, with three new stores in the greater Philadelphia area and six units in the Boston region. Stores in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago are slated to open next fall.
Uniqlo recently redesigned the second floor of its Manhatan Fifth Ave. flagship to include an art section, in partership with the Museum of Modern Art and Starbucks.
-See this Reuters article
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