Uniqlo is expanding its store network in the Philippines to meet strong demand for its products, according to Katsumi Kubota, COO of Fast Retailing Philippines Inc.
With robust sales at Uniqlo outlets in SM Mall of Asia and SM North Edsa, Kubota said Uniqlo would be opening four stores in the first semester of the year. The first will open at the upcoming SM Aura in Taguig City to be followed by outlets in SM Fairview and SM Pampanga. Another one will be opened in a still undisclosed location in Luzon in the middle of the year.
Five or more stores will open in the second half, although not necessarily in Luzon, he said. “In total we will open maybe 10 stores this year,” he said.
“With sales in current stores doing well, the Uniqlo company in Japan is watching business here. With the good results of the first two stores, they want to accelerate our store openings,” Kubota said.
Kubota said that Christmas sales from December 2012 to early January 2013 in SM Mall of Asia and SM North Edsa reached 300,000 pieces. That sales performance beat most other Uniqlo markets and was comparable to the United States market, where the Uniqlo network is larger, Kubota said.
The Uniqlo store set to open in SM Pampanga will be slightly smaller than the existing outlets since it will cater to a market where the Japanese brand is not yet well known.
“Pampanga is a good market, urbanized and has a good population size,” Kobota said.
With the rollout this year, Kubota said Uniqlo was on track to its target of having 50 outlets by the end of 2015.