France, key territory for Uniqlo in Europe

In a Uniqlo store, in Paris, in 2010.

Taku Morikawa won’t say anything about it. But Uniqlo, of which he chairs the European subsidiary, did not skimp during the renovation of its store located on the outskirts of Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. Eight months of work were necessary to increase its surface area to 2,200 m², review the circulation between its three levels and rearrange its shelves in order to present all of its ranges for men, women, children and babies, including its sweaters. cashmere, available in around fifty colors.

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The game is worth the candle. Opened in 2009, this store generates a “comparable turnover” to that which Uniqlo obtains on the Ve avenue in New York, in the United States, says Mr. Morikawa, without revealing the amount. This point of sale, which often suffers from overcrowding, has been equipped with 34 fitting rooms and 26 self-service cash registers, to reduce waiting at checkout.

And, according to the manager, the French subsidiary of Uniqlo, controlled by the Fast Retailing group, benefits from “carrying winds”despite the crisis that the French clothing market has been going through since 2008 and the inflation which has weighed down textile spending since 2022. Taku Morikawa attributes this performance to ” good value for money “ that the brand cultivates, known for its affordable prices and its basic style clothing.

Inauguration with great fanfare

The world number three in clothing distribution, behind the Spanish Inditex, owner of Zara, and the Swedish H&M, operates 26 stores in France, in Paris, notably rue de Rivoli, rue des Francs-Bourgeois and in the XVedistrict, as well as in several large cities, including Lyon, Montpellier, Marseille and Strasbourg. France ranks first among its European markets (70 stores in 10 countries), far ahead of the United Kingdom (17 units), Germany (10 points of sale) and Spain (7).

And clearly its parent company (16.5 billion euros in turnover in 2022; 2,400 stores worldwide) still provides Uniqlo with the finances necessary for its expansion in the country. The brand is preparing to “to settle at the end of 2023 in Annecy, on an area of ​​1,300 m²”, in a shopping center backing onto Galeries Lafayette, specifies Mr. Morikawa. Because, he recalls, the “point of sale remains the brand’s number one media outlet”far ahead of the use of advertising.

The inauguration with great fanfare of this store located in one of the most touristy districts of Paris contrasts sharply with the fate of two other subsidiaries of the group: Princesse Tam-Tam and Comptoir des Cotonniers are preparing to undergo a severe treatment. weight loss supposed to ensure “their sustainability”according to a spokesperson.

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