Japan-based fashion brand Uniqlo has reported significant growth this year as its parent company, Fast Retailing, announced an 18% increase in quarterly profits.

The company is also on track to expand its global retail presence with the addition of 80 new stores, with a special emphasis on the US.

Uniqlo’s strategy to boost its presence in the US includes opening several new stores, with a plan to have more than 200 physical stores in the country by 2027.

The brand currently operates 53 stores in the US and two new stores are set to open on 20 October, both in Long Island, New York.

Uniqlo’s new CEO of operations in the US Yoshihide Shindo expressed the importance of US expansion, stating: “Expansion in the US is an important step.”

Innovative store features and community engagement

Uniqlo’s new stores are introducing innovative features such as self-checkout stations and the option to repair previously purchased clothing. Repair services are already available at Uniqlo stores in Los Angeles, Chicago and Florida.

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By GlobalData

Additionally, the brand is focusing on fostering community engagement and influencer partnerships. Shindo highlighted a recent event where more than 400 people in need were allowed to shop for winter clothing at Uniqlo stores free of charge, with more than $65,000 worth of clothing donated.

Shindo emphasised: “We do not see our stores as simply a place to sell clothing; they are [also about] the communities that we are joining.”

Capitalising on a shifting retail landscape

Amid rising inflation in the US, which is driving consumers towards value and deal-driven retailers, Uniqlo is well-positioned to cater to changing shopping preferences. Fast Retailing’s founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai noted that “people are looking to reduce surplus things and frills and live simply in their way.”

Shindo echoed this sentiment, emphasising Uniqlo’s commitment to offering consistent value in quality and accessibility, irrespective of the economic situation.

While Fast Retailing’s immediate retail growth is focused on China, where they plan to open 80 stores in the next year, North America remains a crucial market with 20 more stores set to open in the next 12 months.

Over the past year, more than 80% of the company’s profit growth has come from North America and Europe, marking the region’s significance in Uniqlo’s global expansion plans.