Uniqlo to open 100 stores across India

Monday, 08 September 2014
After confirming its interest in sourcing in India in July, Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo now plans to open 100 stores of its casual wear chain in India. The planned investment is expected to surpass the 1.34 billion euro committed by Swedish furniture retailer Ikea for opening 25 stores in India by 2020. Uniqlo’s commitment would thus be the biggest single source of foreign direct investment for India so far.

A year ago, Uniqlo had postponed its India plans but revived them during Tadashi Yanai’s visit to India in June. Yanai i s Uniqlo’s chairman and president of parent company Fast Retailing. He had met with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shortly after his election victory in May. As part of his “Look East” policy, Modi has promised to help Japanese companies invest in India. Among India’s advantages as a garment and sourcing hub, Modi had highlighted the country’s “availability of cotton, skilled manpower, robust infrastructure, a big domestic market and good ports for exports”.

Uniqlo’s India plan includes chain of 100 stores, sourcing

During Modi’s visit to Japan last week, top Fast Retailing executives had met with senior Indian government officials. “There were discussions on Uniqlo’s investment plans in India. Uniqlo is expected to open a chain of around 100 stores across India,” confirmed a top government source when talking to Hindustan Times. In the past, Yanai has expressed the desire to surpass Spanish rival Inditex, owner of fast fashion chain Zara, and become the world’s largest clothing retailer.

International brands and retailers like Zara, Gap, Marks & Spencer and Ralph Lauren already do a substantial amount of sourcing from India, whose textile and clothing revenues are expected to reach 69.5 billion euros in 2014.

Images: Uniqlo logos, Uniqlo in Taipei (Cecilio Hsieh)

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