A GUEST gets overwhelmed by the perfectly folded shirts on display. It takes five minutes to decide which to buy among the six available colors of the round neck shirt. The chosen color is tossed into a shopping bag (along with five other staple pieces in neutral colors). The possibility of sharing the same outfit with everyone else is no problem thanks to its design versatility and function.
In 1949, a textile manufacturer opened in Yamaguchi, Japan. Then Tadashi Yanai took over his father’s business in 1984 and named the brand “Unique Clothing Warehouse” with the goal on establishing his own casual clothing store. The name was contracted to “Uniqlo” in 1988. Today, Uniqlo has over 1,000 stores worldwide.
On the sixth anniversary since its arrival in the Philippines, the Japanese casual retailer opened its flagship store at Glorietta 5, Ayala Ave. in Makati city — the biggest in Southeast Asia.
“Our global flagship stores are designed as showcases to the world, displaying the very best that Uniqlo has to offer. 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,” Satoshi Hatase, CEO of Uniqlo Southeast Asia and Oceania, was quoted as saying in a press release.
The atrium area of the 4,100-sq.m. flagship store, like those abroad, has a 360 LED screen and rotating mannequins, this time wearing outfits from the Our Future is Here collection. The store’s pillars sport artworks by the Plus63 Design Group.
The ground floor of the store offers the complete lineup of men’s and ladies’ LifeWear, has a large kids and baby section, a tech wear section featuring the brand’s AIRism and HEATTEACH clothes, and seasonal collections. The second floor houses the Uniqlo UT Jump 50th, MAGIC FOR ALL (a collaboration with The Walt Disney company), and the Smart Travel collection.
A display featuring the collaborative design project of Japanese stylist Shun Watanabe and Filipino visual artist Leeroy New showcases former’s on-trend styling and the latter’s creative headpieces.
“It’s not about the clothes. It’s about the people wearing them, their lifestyle, and how the clothes can make their life better,” Georgette Barrera-Jalasco, marketing director of Uniqlo Philippines, told BusinessWorld at the store’s launch on Oct. 4.
Also at the second floor is a video game area where visitors can try out the soon-to-be-released Jump Force video game by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment.
After long hours of shopping, visitors can rest their weary feet at the Uniqlo terrace at the second floor, overlooking Glorietta 4, which features furniture by designer Kenneth Cobonpue.
The flagship store in Manila is the 15th global flagship store in Uniqlo’s 11 global markets. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman