SLIDESHOW: 5 Up-and-Coming Retailers for 2013
The first Uniqlo retail location (then called "Unique Clothing Warehouse") opened in Hiroshima, Japan, in 2004, but unless you live in New York City, New Jersey, or San Francisco (where Uniqlo has a domestic brick-and-mortar presence), you may be unfamiliar with this brand. Assuming the company's aggressive goal to have 200 stores located in the United States by 2020 comes to fruition, however, you'll know it soon enough. Owned by the Japanese company Fast Retailing (TYO:9983) (which has also recently acquired a majority stake in high-end denim retailer J Brand), Uniqlo specializes in affordable cashmere and "heat technology" shirts and jackets. The company touts its dedication to social responsibility, modern technology, and innovation through social media platforms and unique in-store customer events. In the summer of 2011, it brought a rollerskating rink and pop-up shop to New York City to drive traffic to the city's flagship store. Much like Target (NYSE:TGT), Uniglo's strategy involves partnering with on-trend global fashion designers to offer limited edition lines to the mass-market shopper. The retailer launched online shopping to United States consumers in October, just in time for the holiday season.