UNIQLO’s founder plots a way to beat Zara and H&M

The essential Mr Yanai

WHEN ASKED what guides his vision of UNIQLO, Tadashi Yanai, its founder and chief executive, pulls off the shelf the 1987 autumn/winter collection catalogue of Next, a mass-market British retailer. All of the clothes are so classic, he says, that they could be worn today. While Inditex of Spain, which owns Zara, and Hennes & Mauritz of Sweden, the world’s two largest clothing retailers, slavishly follow fashion trends, UNIQLO, the main brand of the third-largest, Fast Retailing, of Japan, sticks to timeless basics.

Mr Yanai has a solid base at home from which to expand into his Western competitors’ main markets of Europe and America. But instead his priority remains Asia. He wants to turn UNIQLO into the world’s largest clothing retailer by becoming the first Asian “SPA” or speciality store retailer of private-label apparel. “Asia is the engine of growth today,” he says,...

via Business Feeds

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