Uniqlo Melbourne Opens Today, Plans Huge Expansion

It’s a banner year for international retailers moving into Australia. With the demand for internet shopping higher than ever, more and more big name chains from across the globe have been setting up shop in our funny little clothing-obsessed country. In the past 30 months, we’ve seen Zara, Topshop and most recently, H&M open locations in our largest cities to huge demand. And today marks the addition of another to that list in Uniqlo, who throw the doors to their Melbourne store open for the first time this morning. And the Japanese retailing giant isn’t simply content to sit back and watch how it all works out for a while, either. They’re planning on expanding across the country. And quick. Better start doing those wallet stretches, kids. The marathon of shopping is upon us.

The opening of these stores has been met with huge demand, with Melbourne’s H&M store still attracting lines of people hundreds of metres long as late as this past weekend. All hungry consumers keen to get in on the perceived exclusivity that H&M promotes; frankly, it’s a genius marketing move going by the sheer number of people willing to line up for hours to even see the inside of the clothing store. Uniqlo’s opening represents another big name entering the ring for one almighty prizefight. And if the company’s plans come to fruition, we’ll be seeing anywhere up to 50 Uniqlo stores in the country before too long, with sites in Sydney, Brisbane and additional sites in Melbourne already being scouted. Tadashi Yanai, the chief executive of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, explains, “You have 20 million population in this marketplace, and we aim for one store per 200,000 people, so 100 stores will be just enough to cover it.
Staff for the Melbourne store were hired over a year ago in order to be trained up to the point that satisfied Uniqlo’s strict Japanese standards of customer service, which includes a regular morning recital of key phrases.
So there it is, folks! Dust your credit cards off, put your fashion-lookin’ glasses on and hit the city. There’s scarcely been a better time for retail therapy in Australia than right now. Begun, the new war of retail has!
Uniqlo’s Melbourne store opens today on Lonsdale Street in the city.
Photo: Mario Tama via Getty Images.
via SMH and The Australian.