If you haven't discovered Uniqlo, then you're missing out. But it's not entirely your fault given that the Japanese retailer only operates five stores in the U.S., four in the New York and one in San Francisco. I discovered Uniqlo when I was out in New York a couple years ago and realized what the buzz was all about. It's a fast-fashion retailer that gives you the chance to buy all those basic "filler" pieces at a great price, but without compromising on the quality (at least that's what my personal experience has been...cashmere sweaters at 80 dolllar price points? Yes please!).
The decision to launch an E-commerce site in the U.S. was a strategic move to help the Japanese retailer continue expanding in the U.S. and figure out where the bulk of their U.S. consumers reside. Through their online sales, the company can then determine where to build more brick-and-mortar stores. Their decision to open a store in San Francisco was also a strategic move, allowing the retailer to be close to Silicon Valley and the Bay area techies to help them launch their site. “Having a San Francisco store is a good opportunity to work with outside [tech] companies and experiment,” Shin Odake, CEO stated to WWD. “Hopefully, we can hire and find the talent. Global e-commerce is headquartered in Japan, but we’re open to moving the global headquarters to the U.S. We feel there’s more talent and more knowledge in the U.S. The fact that our San Francisco store is close to Silicon Valley was very attractive. We want to establish a relationship with the U.S. high-tech industry. We hope to learn from the U.S. market and make our Web experience better than it is today.” More talent and knowledge in the U.S. when it comes to E-commerce? Now that's something this Stanford alumna, former San Francisco resident, and all around fashion geek is proud to hear. To shop Uniqlo's new site, click here.