Uniqlo tweaks 'Made for All' to give U.S. shoppers a '3-D' fit

Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:05am EST
 
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By Chang-Ran Kim and Ritsuko Shimizu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Fast Retailing Co's (9983.T: Quote) casual clothing brand Uniqlo is rethinking its "Made for All" strategy, looking to offer lower priced lines in smaller Asian cities and more generous sizes to fit the U.S. market, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Asia's biggest clothing retailer is studying ways to offer a better fit for U.S. consumers - a move that could help Uniqlo expand its customer base in the world's biggest market as it adds more stores in suburban areas.

"This is going to be our next challenge in the United States: how to adjust our clothes for a more '3-D' fit, particularly for women," Group Executive Vice President Yoshihiro Kunii, who oversees production at Fast Retailing, told Reuters in an interview.

"There are many different ethnic groups in the United States, and this makes it tough to come up with the optimal range (to match the fit)," he said, declining to specify a time frame for completing the review. "But we need to do this, and want to come up with a solution as soon as possible."

Uniqlo has long marketed the "Made for All" concept, offering the same products universally rather than tweaking its designs or pricing for individual markets.

From now on, however, Fast Retailing will develop and design about 10 percent of Uniqlo's products with local needs in mind, Kunii said, with a view to possibly selling those products in other markets if the demand arose.

BIG IN AMERICA

Success in the United States is vital for Fast Retailing as it marches towards Chief Executive Tadashi Yanai's goal of turning his company into the world's No.1 clothing retailer by 2020, overtaking Zara's Inditex S.A. (ITX.MC: Quote), Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) (HMb.ST: Quote) and Gap Inc (GPS.N: Quote).   Continued...

 
People stand outside a UNIQLO shop in Beijing, August 24, 2013. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic