The CEO of the fourth-largest retailer in the world has listed Chicago as one of the company's primarily targeted markets in its aggressive U.S. expansion plan.
Japanese retailer Uniqlo is known for its sleek, simple, somewhat Gap-reminiscent looks and already boasts three locations in New York City, including its recently opened gargantuan, 89,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue outpost, which Refinery29 notes as "the largest lease in Manhattan's history" and the retailer's largest outpost anywhere. Shin Odake, CEO of the company's American division, told Daily Finance that he has similar plans for cities like Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.
"Everyone is selling clothes. Apple is selling cell phones and computers, but they've revolutionized people's lives," Odake told Daily Finance. "We want to revolutionize how people wear clothes. … We want to make a perfect T-shirt, sweater and jeans that can be worn by everyone."
All told, Odake hopes to open 200 U.S. stores and net $10 billion in American sales by 2020 as the company aims to overtake its Western rivals and become the world's biggest clothing retailer.
"We don't target 18-year-olds or people who have a particular lifestyle," the company's chief operating officer Yasunobu Kyogoku explained to ABC News last month. "No matter what your taste or demographic, we do believe we have great articles of clothing at Uniqlo."
Chicago, of course, has also recently welcomed a number of other hyped overseas retailers in recent years, including Topshop, marking only its second U.S. location, and Zara. And, as Chicagoist points out, with Gap closing just over one-fifth of its U.S. stores within the next two years, there's certainly appears to be a void to fill.
Photo by maveric2003 via Flickr.