UNIQLO looking to ex­pand ven­dor base in In­dia

Apparel Online - - Eyes & Ears -

UNIQLO, the Ja­panese global ap­parel re­tailer that has grown from a sin­gle store in Hiroshima in 1984, to an im­pres­sive global net­work of more than 2,000 stores as of now, is poised for ma­jor ex­pan­sion around the world and in In­dia. The brand’s Founder, Tadashi Yanai has gone on record to say that his vi­sion is to trans­form Fast Re­tail­ing, the op­er­a­tor of UNIQLO, to be­come the num­ber one ap­parel re­tailer in the world. Cur­rently, Fast Re­tail­ing is the third-largest fash­ion re­tailer in the world – be­hind H&M and Zara’s par­ent com­pany, In­di­tex. Prac­ti­cally, ev­ery other day, there’s a UNIQLO store open­ing some­where in the world. And with the brand al­ready having the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the largest cloth­ing chain in Asia, which happens to be the fastest grow­ing re­tail re­gion, the chances of be­com­ing num­ber one in the world is not an as­pi­ra­tion but a re­al­is­tic one and an achiev­able goal. UNIQLO makes ‘LifeWear’ – the cloth­ing which is of high-qual­ity, highly functional, universal in de­sign and con­stantly in­no­vate it with ap­pli­ca­tion of tech­nol­ogy for men, women, chil­dren and ba­bies. The col­lec­tions re­flect the Ja­panese value of sim­plic­ity, qual­ity and longevity. With the com­pany eye­ing larger mar­ket share, the sourc­ing base is also be­ing ex­panded and so are the prod­uct of­fer­ings. The good news for In­dian ex­porters is that UNIQLO is looking for man­u­fac­turer part­ners in In­dia who can work on a large scale on strin­gent guide­lines that de­fine the ethos of the brand. “UNIQLO is a ca­sual cloth­ing brand that of­fers high qual­ity prod­ucts at affordable prices and we are com­mit­ted our­selves for high qual­ity at the same time,” in­formed the spokes­woman, in-charge of sourc­ing and pro­duc­tion at the UNIQLO In­dia li­ai­son of­fice.

The com­pany, which al­ready has a ma­jor sourc­ing op­er­a­tion in Bangladesh, set up an of­fice in Ban­ga­lore two years ago that started sourc­ing women blouses from In­dia, which sold very well. This new but bank­able prod­uct gave a boost to the man­age­ment, de­sign­ers and mer­chants at UNIQLO. Now they are also ven­tur­ing into other prod­ucts to be sourced out of In­dia.

“We are cur­rently work­ing with a few part­ners in In­dia and are cer­tainly aim­ing to fur­ther de­velop our part­ner net­work here. The will­ing­ness and adapt­abil­ity to change and learn­ing new things are the qual­i­ties we are seek­ing. We are looking for es­tab­lish­ing longterm part­ner­ship”, the UNIQLO representative ex­plained. She fur­ther added: “Our sys­tems are very pe­cu­liar; we need the fac­to­ries to de­liver prod­ucts that ad­here to our qual­ity stan­dards.” It’s an es­tab­lished fact that Ja­panese com­pa­nies be­lieve in 100% qual­ity. “Our mantra is real time, real sit­u­a­tions, real place,” she con­cluded.

Even­tu­ally, the vi­sion for UNIQLO is to work to­gether with the part­ners to achieve the high­est qual­ity stan­dard and hence to grow and pros­per to­gether.

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