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Uniqlo is in the process of opening ten new stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California, thereby almost doubling its US presence. In 2014, they'll double it again with 20 new store openings, as Larry Meyer, Uniqlo's US COO, tells Bloomberg. That's not news. The Japanese company isn't shy about its plans to take over America with its affordable knits and jackets that are essentially human koozies.
It's also no secret that Uniqlo is allergic to middle America at the moment. But unlike Zara, for example, the problem—ostensibly—does not have to do with US sizing challenges. Rather, according to Meyer, the issue is employee training and the belief that shoppers in the Midwest are all like "Uni-what?"
He explained that opening stores that aren't clustered together like they are in the tri-state area would require huge advertising onslaughts to accompany them. Also, training the "right people" is a major point of concern.
Meyer was mum about where these 20 stores will be located, but there's little doubt that one will find its way into Chicago. And either way, for states that are feeling left out right now, there's always the internet.
· Why Uniqlo Won't Open Stores in the Heartland [Bloomberg Business]
· Uniqlo Wants To Overtake Zara as Biggest Brand in the World [Racked]