Can Uniqlo Beat Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion had made it manageable to get clothing into stores as soon as possible. New York Fashion Week have been adding on to fast fashion by having ready-to-wear designs that are available in store after the show. This idea has already stemmed in companies such as Forever 21, H&M, and Zara who have been producing their collections so that everyone can access and buy their clothing at affordable prices.
Uniqlo would like to expand sales by making their own move on fast fashion now, as they are in heavy competition with Zara. Latest trends and custom-made products will be showing up at Uniqlo, as Uniqlo’s owner Fast Retailing Co. wants Uniqlo to reach a better end. Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo’s billionaire owner has been wanting to shorten the time it takes to manufacture and ship out, hopefully up to 13 days. The company has recently opened up a new design and delivery complex that is located in an industrial part of Tokyo. Yanai says, “We need to be fast. We need to deliver products customers want quickly”.
Fast Retailing Co. is one of Japan’s largest clothing retailer. They wish to increase salary by almost 70 percent, leaving them with $26 billion, which converts to 3 trillion yen in Japan. Attracting what the customer’s demand is the main goal of bumping up sales. This will help propel growth in the near future.
Yanai has mentioned before that he would rather sell to gain consumer appreciation because he thinks that other companies sell to sell and do not know what suits the customer’s needs. Clothing at Uniqlo caters to people’s day-to-day lives. It is comfortable and based on unisex apparel that offers customers to feel under-pressured when they purchase the attire.
First opening in Japan, Uniqlo is quite renowned in Asia. They will continue opening up about 100 stores in China and Southeast Asia, securing their spot for two-thirds of Fast Retailing’s revenue. The new complex, stationed in the waterfront Ariake district of Tokyo has been housing around 1,000 employees. They include designers and marketing teams ready to take action, and they are able to use the warehouse and delivery facilities that were built with the complex. Having all those resources in one place will surely drive up the operational process.
Uniqlo is set apart from other fast fashion retailers because they are motivated to make clothing that anyone, anywhere can wear, and they want to be quick about it. High competition is on now. The best and consequently the worst problem about fast fashion is that Forever 21, H&M, and Zara are speedy to prepare clothing that also is a knock-off of some of the lines from Fashion Week brought out. people want the same style clothing, but more affordable. This enables brands to rush to fabricate out what people want, and it sells out fast. Purchasers then move on to the next store and so on.
Uniqlo had hit a roadblock a while back when sales had slowed down to 6 percent. This was due to an increase in the prices of clothing because Uniqlo had higher raw-material costs. Uniqlo then decided to up the sales by lowering costs, changing their goal of a 5 trillion target to 3 trillion by 2021.
The company wants to expand on operations, leading them to track deliveries and try to predict patterns of sales. Ariake, the new complex will hopefully be replicated in overseas markets within the next three years.
Speed is important to Fast Retailing, but they also need to improve their efficiency. Yanai was motivated to run smoother and quick with his new machinery and building. He took over Fast Retailing from his father in 1984 and has turned it into a huge manufacturing company, but if he does not come close to his profit goal, it could potentially cause some issues like the decline of store numbers to arise for Fast Retailing.