JAPANESE clothing colossus Uniqlo wants to develop a stronger presence in the Philippine market. With a huge presence in major malls in Metro Manila, Uniqlo recently launched its first roadside store in the Philippines located in Westgate Development Filinvest City, Alabang in Muntinlupa City, 22 kilometers south of Manila.
“Uniqlo Philippines embraces a new Uniqlo business model by transforming from mall only business to newer various types of store for rapid expansion. Uniqlo Philippines aims to boost the vitality of the local area by becoming a lifestyle and cultural hub, and a driver of local economic development and prosperity. The first roadside store in the Philippines aims to closely engage with the local community by improving convenience for customers, and attracting new and sustainable businesses to the area.” Masayoshi Nakamura, chief operating officer of Uniqlo Philippines said in recent interview.
“We intend to follow the successful step of putting up Uniqlo roadside stores outside Japan, like Korea, Taiwan and Thailand,” Nakamura added.
Nakamura also recognized the potential of the Philippines as a location of other roadside stores because of Uniqlo’s huge success that has appealed across generations of Filipinos. In Japan, Uniqlo has 800 stores of which 400 are off road stores.
Geraldine Sia, Uniqlo Philippines cochief operating officer, said Filinvest provided vital support by providing them the space for the store. “We appreciate very much the effort of Filinvest for making this project possible,” she said.
“We were looking for the best site and we decided the best choice is Alabang,” she added. Filinvest granted the leases to Uniqlo Philippines.
Further, she said Uniqlo Philippines decided to open roadside because it provides convenience and parking level area to the store.
With a shopping space of 1,518 square meters, Sia said Uniqlo Westgate Alabang operates from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday. The store carries a full range of Uniqlo LifeWear items for men, women, kids and babies for an exceptional one-stop shopping experience the whole family can enjoy.
Moreover, it includes a parking lot for Uniqlo customers, which is carefully designed to ensure enough space and accessibility for needs—families with children, elderly people and people with disabilities. Uniqlo Westgate Alabang is situated at Alabang-Zapote Road in Westgate Development Filinvest City.
Uniqlo continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world’s most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a global brand. Today the company has more than 2,000 stores in 22 markets, including Japan. In alphabetical order, the other markets are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. In addition, Uniqlo established a social business in Bangladesh together with the Grameen Bank in 2010, and today there are several Grameen-Uniqlo stores in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, Uniqlo Philippines worked with local designers led by Dan Matutina for the design of its flagship store in Ayala Center in Makati Center.