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Uniqlo plans to double its India store count in 3 years

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Uniqlo plans to open more stores in existing cities it operates as well in newer cities like Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the coming years

New Delhi: Uniqlo, Asia’s largest fashion brand, is betting big on India as a future growth engine with plans to double its store count in the country in the next three years, two people familiar with the development said.

“Uniqlo currently operates 13 stores in India and plans to open about 28-30 stores in the next three years,” said one of the persons asking not to be identified. “They will be opening in existing cities they operate as well as go to newer cities like Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the coming years,” the person added.

The second person said Uniqlo is in the process of rolling out its latest store in Phoenix Palladium Mall in Mumbai before Diwali. The 15,000 sq. ft. store is located right next to the upcoming store of Bershka—the latest brand from Zara’s owner Inditex that is making its India debut later this year from the prominent Mumbai shopping centre.

The person said the Japanese brand is also planning to open a store in Pacific Mall in Delhi’s Tagore Garden, and that would either open in November or early next year, depending on the availability of the store in time.

“While we do not comment on market rumors, we are continuously working on expanding our presence to make LifeWear accessible to more and more customers,” a Uniqlo India spokesperson said in an email response. “We aim to build the best quality stores with the best customer service, and to make people’s lives better with our thoughtfully-designed clothing that is high quality, functional, and made for all.”

Uniqlo and its global peers Zara and H&M have had a successful foray into India although lately, growth has been sluggish for the global fashion giants, prompting many of them to rethink or revisit their India strategies. For example, Zara, which is operated in India through a joint venture between Spain’s Inditex and Tata Group, reported an 8% decline in profit to Rs244 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24 and an 8% rise in revenues to Rs 2,775 crore. This pales significantly from its 40% growth a year ago. Uniqlo which initially opened its India stores in the range of about 25,000-30,000 sq. ft. has now decided to roll out most of its outlets in the range of 15,000 sq. ft., the sources said.

Uniqlo entered India in September 2019 with a large store at New Delhi’s Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj. It currently operates eight stores in Delhi NCR, two in Mumbai and one store each in Chandigarh, Lucknow and Zirakpur.

Uniqlo plans to open a total of about six to eight stores in Mumbai and Pune in the next two years, IndiaRetailing reported in September. Furthermore, the retailer is in talks with a host of prominent malls in those two cities. Read more about it here.

“Last year, we launched in Mumbai and are thrilled to receive positive feedback from our customers,” the Uniqlo spokesperson said.

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