"It is a testament of Uniqlo’s commitment to the Filipino people to open a global flagship store here in Manila.” – Georgette Barrera-Jalasco, Uniqlo Philippines marketing officer.
The founder of Uniqlo personally opened his retail apparel brand’s first global flagship store in Manila and in Southeast Asia as proof of his commitment and faith in the Philippine market.
“Mr. (Tadashi) Yanai decided to come in after just over a year of research and a 24-hour visit to the Philippines incognito,” shared SM Investments Corporation co-vice chair Tessie Sy-Coson during her speech at the opening of Uniqlo Manila in Glorietta 5, Makati City.
She continued, “He liked what he saw, and was determined to open 500 stores in the Philippines. That was when we decided to work together.”
Uniqlo opened its first PH store at SM Mall of Asia in 2012. Six years since the Japanese retail giant has opened 52 more stores across the country—the most recent of which is its global flagship store which officially opened on Oct. 5.
“We feel that it is testament of Uniqlo’s commitment to the Filipino people to open a global flagship store here in Manila,” Georgette Barrera-Jalasco, Uniqlo Philippines marketing officer told Manila Standard.
According to Satoshi Hatase, chief executive officer of Uniqlo Southeast Asia and Oceania, a global flagship store is designed to display the very best that the brand offers.
“Uniqlo Manila is an important example of our commitment to Southeast Asia. It is one of the largest Uniqlo stores in the world and is a big step forward in continued Uniqlo growth in the region and globally,” said Hatase.
Uniqlo Manila boasts a massive 4,100-square-meter of shopping space spread in two floors. In comparison, Uniqlo’s global flagship store at West Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China has 3,300-square-meter sales floor.
The first level houses the men’s, women’s, kids, and baby collections, as well as the tech wear section which includes the brand’s AIRism and HEATTech ranges and seasonal items.
Uniqlo’s full lineup of UT collection, U collection, Smart Travel collection and collaborations with Walt Disney and Sanrio are on the second level.
“Uniqlo Manila’s UT collection is probably the biggest in the Philippines,” said Barrera-Jalasco.
The Glorietta 5 branch, designed by Uniqlo’s store design group, features an atrium area with LED screens and rotating mannequins.
In addition to clothes, the flagship store also serves as a venue for creative collaboration and fun games. A display, entitled “Forward Manila,” features the joint project of Japanese stylist Shun Watanabe and Filipino contemporary artist Leeroy New.
There is a video game area on the second floor, where guests can try out the Jump Force video game by Bandai Namco.
A terrace overlooking Glorietta 4 offers tired shoppers a place to rest their feet on one of the lounge furniture items designed by Kenneth Cobonpue.
Tadashi Yanai, founder and president of Fast Retailing, the parent company of the Uniqlo chain, during his speech, talked about the secret to his success. The Japanese retail magnate aims for Uniqlo to be the world’s largest retailer, ahead of H&M and Inditex (Zara).
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