Archives for posts with tag: uniqlo

ginza dori

Tokyo’s Ginza district has the distinction of being Tokyo’s original upmarket shopping destination, some of the most expensive real estate in the world, the first to feature electric street lighting, the first with modern department stores, the first with stores that allowed customers to wear shoes inside the premises, the first to host luxury European brands. During Japan’s golden ’bubble’ years Ginza was the city’s glitzy playground, its stores raking in phenomenal earnings from cashed up citizens.

Times, though, have changed.

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The +J label was only introduced in the fall of 2009, but with the release of each collection it has increasingly grabbed the world’s fashion headlines and consumers’ imagination. The fashion line created by German designer Jil Sander for Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo empire won the Brit Insurance Fashion Award this year with its Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. In an era of fashion collaborations – some more than a little cynical – the +J concept is a perfect fashion fit.

All original images copyright Uniqlo Co Ltd : : Spring/SUmmer 2011: Women’s : double-collared shirt jacket, stand collar l/s dress shirt, V-neck 3/4 sleeve short cardigan; men’s : knit jacket, full zip hoodie, slim fit dobby l/s shirt.

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Tokyo’s culture of convenience is fueled by an exhaustive array of stores that are open daily till 8 or 9 pm, tens of thousands of 24 hour convenience stores and millions of vending machines. Japan’s leading apparel retailer, Uniqlo, has seized on the concepts of the vending machine and convenience store and combined them with slick retail design and limited edition products to create a unique shopping experience in their UT Store Harajuku.

Spotlight

  • There are estimated to be about 5.5 million vending machines in Japan, about half of which dispense canned and bottled drinks.
  • Customers have the added convenience of paying the machines by smart card or credit enabled phone (saifu-keitai) on an increasing number of machines.
  • There are more than 43,000 convenience stores (combini) in Japan; the Seven-Eleven chain is the largest with more than 12,700 stores.
  • Seven & I Holdings Co, Ltd, owner of Seven-Eleven Japan convenience stores and supermarkets, is Japan’s largest retailer.
  • Uniqlo began trading in 1984 in Hiroshima and now has more than 800 stores in Japan and has begun expanding into international markets with 140 stores in countries such as the UK, China, France, Russia and the USA.
  • Fast retailing Co. Ltd, owner of Uniqlo, is Japan’s largest clothing company; sales forecasts for 2010 are US$9 billion.
  • Fast retailing founder and head Tadashi Yanai is Japan’s richest person.

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