In response to my last Fashion Friday post, one of my Facebook readers inquired about Uniqlo wondering if the company is Canadian or American. Uniqlo (pronounced YOU-nee-klo) is, in fact, a major Japanese casual apparel retailer. We fell in love with Uniqlo on our first visit to Japan in 2005. When we lived in Funabashi in 2008-09, it was a short bike ride from our apartment to the closest Uniqlo store and later, in 2013, when we spent a semester in Dalian, China we were delighted to find Uniqlo a short bus ride from home!
From one store in Hiroshima in 1984, the chain has spread across Asia and around the world. In addition to Japan and China, Uniqlo now sells inexpensive high quality fashion merchandise in stores in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, France, Russia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The first Uniqlo store in North America opened in Soho, New York City in 2006. Ten years later, in September 2016, Uniqlo entered the Canadian market with a store in the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The company now operates two stores in Toronto and three in the Vancouver area with three more in the Toronto area and one in Vancouver’s eastern suburbs slated to open this fall. Once brand awareness has been well established in those two areas, the company is expected to branch out into secondary markets including Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa with the possibility of eventually having as many as 100 stores across the country.
For those of us in Canada who already love Uniqlo, but who live far from Toronto and Vancouver, the good news is that the company launched online sales in Canada early last month. Now you can order clothing from their mobile-only online store or app and have it delivered anywhere in Canada. As for me, I’ll be back in Vancouver next month, so I’ll shop in person.
On my last visit in June, all I was really looking for was the basic black tee that appeared in last week’s post, but before I even walked into the store, I fell in love with the dark olive sleeveless blouse on the mannequin at the entrance so it came home with me. It comes in 5 other colours and I see that it’s on sale right now.