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Fast-Fashion Face off: Here's How Uniqlo Compares to Zara, Gap, and H&M

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Uniqlo founder Tadashi Yanai, via Fast Company

This month's Fast Company magazine includes a six-page profile on Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo, which basically tells us more of what we already know: essentially, the brand plans to expand dramatically in the US, and in order to succeed, it must walk the fine line between good cheap and bad cheap.

Not much new there, but here's something fun: when the fiscal results from 2012 are tallied, Uniqlo is expected to log about $10 billion in revenue and $1.5 billion in profit, making it the world's fourth largest clothing retailer after Zara, H&M, and Gap. The magazine put together a handy—and, at times, revealing—chart, breaking down the four brands by the numbers. Here's how they compare:

Uniqlo: Japan, 1984
Gap: US, 1969
H&M: Sweden, 1947
Zara: Spain, 1975

Global stores:
Uniqlo: 1,000
Gap: 1,587
H&M: 2,352
Zara: 1,631

US Stores:
Uniqlo: 3
Gap: 927
H&M: 234
Zara: 46

Uniqlo: 12
Gap: 41
H&M: 44
Zara: 82

Signature denim:
Uniqlo: Regular-fit straight jeans, $49.50
Gap: 1969 real straight jeans, $69.95
H&M: &Sqin Jeans, $39.95
Zara: Classic-fit denim, $59.60

2011 Revenue
Uniqlo: $8.7 billion
Gap: $5.7 billion
H&M: $15.1 billion
Zara: $11.4 billion

Growth Areas: Asia Asia China, US, UK
Uniqlo: Asia
Gap: Asia
H&M: China, US, UK, Germany
Zara: Asia

Weak spots:
Uniqlo: Japan
Gap: North America
H&M: Nordic countries
Zara: Spain

Daughters of celebrities who have modeled for the brand:
Uniqlo: Dakota Johnson
Gap: Liv Tyler
H&M: Jade Jagger
Zara: None

US e-commerce strategy:
Uniqlo: Rumored to be coming by the end of this year
Gap: generated an estimated $15 billion worldwide in 2011
H&M: Announced: will launch this fall
Zara: launched in fall 2011

· All Uniqlo watch coverage [Racked]
· Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion [Official site]