Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo announced it will open two flagship stores in Toronto in the fall of 2016. One will be located at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and the other at the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Currently, Uniqlo owns 1,500 stores worldwide and is expanding.
"Uniqlo is growing and I thought—we all thought—that Canada was a terrific market, especially starting in Toronto," Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA and Canada, told The Star. "It's in reasonable proximity to our New York City flagship store on 5th [Ave.] and we thought it would be a natural expansion."
The announcement comes on the heels of Target's (NYSE:TGT) announcement that it would shutter all 133 of its Canadian stores. Target Canada never recovered from its initial blunders.
However, Meyer said that Uniqlo will be successful where Target was not because it's entering in a different category and on a smaller scale.
"My past has shown Canadians to be open people and very willing to welcome new brands," he told The Star. "I believe we have unique products with Uniqlo. We're not just a mass merchandiser of branded goods. Our products are our brand."
The store in the Eaton Centre will measure 28,000 sq. ft. and occupy part of the space vacated by Sears Canada (NYSE:SHLD). It will be directly next to competitor H&M and near Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), which is planning to open in 2016.
The Yorkdale location will span 24,000 sq. ft. and also be in close proximity to a scheduled-to-open Nordstrom.
So while Target has had to shutter stores in Canada, other U.S. chains are moving in. In fact, Walmart Canada (NYSE:WMT) announced last week that it will open 11 new supercenters by Jan. 29.
-See this The Star article
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