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Reference No. 15/007C Publication Year 2015
Author(s) Ariel Li
Company Uniqlo
Industry Consumer Goods, Retail and Wholesale
Geographic setting Worldwide
Functional Area Strategy & General Management, Marketing


In 2001, in London, Uniqlo opened its first international store outside Japan. Global markets are now the main drivers of Uniqlo’s growth.  In order to boost the global popularity of the Uniqlo brand, full-fledged research and design centers have been set up in major global fashion cities like New York, Paris, London, Tokyo and Shanghai.  With the ambition to become the No.1 casual wear brand in the world, Uniqlo is now focusing on a global expansion plan. Revenue from 374 stores in the Greater China region (including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) exceeded 200 billion yen in 2014.   With 200 new stores are scheduled to open globally in 2015, revenues from international markets are expected to surpass those from Japanese home market.

Learning Objective

Students will be required to summarize the key challenges and competition for the global fast fashion industry. Discuss the main strategies Uniqlo used to react to the challenges and compete with its major competitors. Student will then be required analyze the reason why being a truly global company is important to the success of Uniqlo and how its global expansion strategy can help the firm to achieve its objectives.

Suggested Questions:

1. How can Uniqlo compete with the other major competitors in the international market?
2. What are the global expansion strategies of Uniqlo in the next few years?
3. What are the opportunities and challenges that Uniqlo faces with its ambitious expansion plans?
4. How can Fast Retailing Company become a truly global company and transform Uniqlo into a truly global brand in the near future?

This case was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS12/14).