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H&M to be challenged in Sweden by another clothing giant UNIQLO
Thursday, 03 November 2011
Gradually the boring Swedish high streets are beginning to change and growing foreign firms are beginning to penetrate the once very neat close Swedish high streets.

In line with this is the news that Clothing giant Uniqlo on its way to Sweden to challenge the local brands such as H&M and others such as Kapp Al.

The Japanese Uniqlo has in a few months ago looking for shop premises in Stockholm, as well as in Berlin and Paris, according to reports in Swedish media.

Uniqlo is one of the fastest growing clothing chains in the world at the moment and a clear challenger to Sweden’s own H&M. Ownership Company Fast Retailing has high ambitions and aims to pass Hennes & Mauritz and Spanish Inditex (owner of Zara, among other things) to be highest clothing leader in the world of fashion.

Recently, Uniqlo opened two flagship stores in New York in collaboration with real estate consultant Jones Lang Lasalle. Even for the Swedish market, Jones Lang Lasalle been plugged in to help seek premises.

“We have had contact with Uniqlo. They are interested in Stockholm and several other European cities, like Berlin and Paris,” says Fredrik Tellefsen, who works with the retail development at Jones Lang Lasalle in Stockholm.

But it may take some time for the company to engage in any real interest to sign for store contracts as yet. Frederick Tellefsen mentions that it might take anything from six months to several years. It is not easy to find good and available retail space on the main shopping areas around Biblioteksgatan och Drottninggatan.

Uniqlo is witnessing a rapid expansion and will open between 200 and 300 stores a year, according to the strategy that management announced in September. For 2012 they are aiming to reach a turnover equivalent to Skr82 billion. For comparison, Hennes & Mauritz expects to hit Skr110 billion in 2011.

Uniqlo is by far the largest chain in Fast Retailing. In the current situation, the Group has about 80 percent of its sales in Japan, but the goal is to grow to 80 percent of sales outside Japan.
The head of Europe and the U.S., Nobuo Domae, said last week to the French newspaper, Le Figaro that they want to open 10 to 20 Uniqlo shops in Paris as soon as possible.

Fast Retailing would not comment on Uniqlos interest to open in Stockholm. The company said only that they continues to review opportunities to open stores in new cities, as well as more stores in cities where it already exists, according to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter

Just like H & M and Inditex, the Japanese fashion company listed, and controlled by a family. The largest shareholder is CEO and Chairman Tadashi Yanai.
By Scancomark.se Tea

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