Fast Retailing on Friday opened its largest flagship Uniqlo store to date in Ginza. It is the firm's 9th flagship store in the world.
In another first for the clothing retailer, approximately 20% of the store's staff, or about 100 employees, are non-Japanese.
The new store at Ginza 6-chome (former Ginza Komatsu Building) occupies 5,000 square meters and features 12 floors – all selling the Uniqlo brand. The building has a transparent-glass facade.
More than 300 shoppers queued up ahead of the opening time to be the first to set foot inside the shop.
"I wanted to see the store," said Yuki Kurihara, 26. "For a long time, Ginza had the image of being a place for sophisticated grown-ups, and I hardly came here to shop. But that image is changing. Ginza is becoming more approachable."
In order to best serve customers from all over the world visiting Ginza, the store offers for the first time a concierge service. The concierge staff will provide information on the Ginza and Yurakucho districts, act as fashion adviser and help customers enjoy the best shopping.
Native speakers of six different languages will attend to customers (Japanese, English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Korean). Foreign customers will recognize their native language by a name tag.
Uniqlo is enjoying rapid expansion abroad, and says it hopes to promote sales at home with the new flagship store.
Fast Retailing Co CEO Tadashi Yanai said that Uniqlo is aiming to open between 200 and 300 stores per year worldwide to boost its global presence and compete with bigger rivals such as clothing giant Gap and Spain’s Zara.© Japan Today/AFP