Japanese retail giant Uniqlo is accelerating its U.S expansion–in 2012, the retailer projected 10-20 new stores in two years; now, Uniqlo says they will open 20 or more stores in 2014. Uniqlo currently operates three stores in Manhattan, one in San Francisco, and three inside of malls on the outskirts of New York City.
The company has previously rejected retail destinations like Los Angeles, Miami, or the Midwest; even now, New York and San Francisco will remain Uniqlo’s “growth hubs.” Larry Meyer, Uniqlo’s COO, told Women’s Wear Daily that New York’s financial district, Boston, and Philadelphia are all on the table. On the west coast, stores are planned in San Jose, the East Bay, and Northern Bay.
“We’ll leverage our distribution and operational strength from New York and San Francisco,” Meyer said. “We have to build our presence and awareness.” He didn’t rule out the Midwest, but admitted that without pre-existing infrastructure and customer recognition, it would require, “a different level of investment.”