Japanese Apparel Retailer Uniqlo To Move Into India In 2019

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Japanese global apparel retailer Uniqlo Co. will enter the Indian market in fall next year, signaling its strong resolve to penetrate Asia's third-largest economy as part of a global campaign. Announcing the establishment of its wholly-owned subsidiary Uniqlo India Pvt. Ltd., Uniqlo said it will soon start hiring local talent to prepare to open a store in Delhi, its 22nd overseas market.

"Our entry in India represents a significant step in our company's global strategy, and we are very pleased and excited to be part of the company's growing retail market," Tadashi Yanai, chairman of Fast Retailing Co., said in a statement. Fast Retailing is the parent company of the leading Japanese casual clothing chain operator. India will become the latest in a string of new markets for Uniqlo worldwide, following earlier announcements about forays into Sweden and the Netherlands this autumn.

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"We look forward to introducing Uniqlo and our high quality, affordable LifeWear apparel in India, while at the same time contributing to the expansion of the Indian economy," Yanai said. Uniqlo will initially focus its target on India's capital region before considering expanding to other parts of the country. It will also kick off a training programme for mid-level management personnel ahead of the shop launch.

"Japanese retailers entering India actually reflect the strength of India's growing retail market, and opportunities that the country's large consumer base presents to brands like Uniqlo," Rajat Wahi, who tracks the retail sector in his role as a partner at consulting firm Deloitte India, said. "The Indian government's recent policy initiatives such as allowing 100% foreign direct investment for single-brand retail trading, and promotion of ease of doing business in the country are some of the other enabling factors attracting foreign retailers to India," Wahi added. In May last year, Japanese clothing and household products retailer Ryohin Keikaku Co. opened its first Muji brand store in Delhi, and later three more outlets in India as part of its store expansion plan. The company has 474 stores globally as of February this year.

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