Uniqlo to launch e-commerce site for the U.S. this fall

by Harry Sheff

NEW YORK—Uniqlo, the Tokyo-based fast-fashion retailer, has officially announced that it intends to launch a U.S. e-commerce site this fall.

“Starting this fall customers and fans anywhere in the U.S. can experience the ultimate in quality and customer service while purchasing affordably priced products all from the comfort of their own homes,” the company said in a statement.

Rumors about Uniqlo’s e-commerce plans had been reported by the fashion press in April, but the company had remained quiet about it. Sources close to the company said that the retailer was looking for the right U.S.-based partner to launch the site.

According to Advertising Age, a request for proposal document released by Uniqlo sought an agency to handle the creation and maintenance of the e-commerce site for a budget of $800,000 to $1.8 million. It isn’t clear whether or not Uniqlo had signed any agreements with an agency.

Uniqlo opened its first large format U.S. store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood in 2006. Two larger flagship stores opened on New York’s Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, respectively, last October. Additional stores are planned for San Francisco and New Jersey this fall.

Fast Retailing operates more than 1,100 Uniqlo stores in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Most of the chain’s stores are in Japan.