Posts tagged ‘Uniqlo’

Beating the Winter Heat

Last winter, Uniqlo beat its competition hands down in the race to sell the season’s hottest thermal wear. From pastel turtlenecks to puffy jackets, its HEAT TECH clothing line became the year’s most gossiped bundle of threads.

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This winter, Uniqlo’s underdog competitor Aeon is determined to steal the throne with its line called (drum roll please) ….HEAT FACT! The apparel is similar to last year’s — short-sleeve tees, camisoles, turtlenecks, and long Johns — but boasts a higher thread-count for a softer, warmer feel. HEAT FACT also aims to beat competitors with a price tag 20-30% less than Uniqlo’s offerings (between $7 to $12).

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HEAT FACT was just launched last week at 1,000 stores nationwide and retailers are hoping to sell at least 10 million items. Truthfully, Aeon isn’t exactly a chic brand, selling at places like Jusco and Daiei, which are like the Big Lots and Walmart of Japan. Uniqlo, on the other hand, is like Gap, appealing to both kids and adults at an affordable cost.

Especially in times like these, winter-wear has become an aggressive market. When the air gets frigid, people still want to restock their wardrobe but without breaking the bank. If Aeon wants to do well, I hope they have an eye-popping promotional campaign lined up, otherwise I think I might go for HEAT TECH. The name just sounds cooler, don’t you think?

Himawari

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September 29, 2009 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

Hurray for H&M!

They’re just two letters of the alphabet, but in the fashion world ‘H’ and ‘M’ are capital go-getters.

The Swedish clothing retailer has over 1,500 stores across the globe and this fall it’s headed to Tokyo. But can H&M — the king of low-cost mass production — survive in a high-fashion mecca?

Most observers would say, “Heck no!” Japanese women are high-maintenance; they wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than Louis Vuitton.

In reality, those girls are just a fraction of a bigger population. I know plenty who are just as comfortable in jeans and a hoodie. They shop at places like Uniqlo, where simple cotton tees don’t stretch over $20. And then there’s Takeshita Road in Harajuku where it’s all about trendy-cheap. African guys posing as Americans will entice you with knock-off Pumas. If business is slow, you can use your wilies to bargain them down — though flirting helps, too.

By far, my favorite places to shop are the too-embarrassed-to-show-my-face department stores. Remember Target before they pronounced it “tar-jay”? My parents bought all my clothes there. That and frozen TV dinners. Being a kid I despised that fact. But now that I’m older I can appreciate a good bargain. Apparently, so do Japanese consumers, because just beyond Tokyo central you’ll find plenty of second-tier department stores (Ito Yokado, Jusco, Daiei, to name a few) prospering from their red-tag sales. And they’re great because you can find a treasure trove of patent leather boots and T-shirts with badly-written English. They make great gifts for friends back home.

So is Tokyo ready for H&M? In this economy, yes. Girls love fashion. And girls, even Japanese ones, love a good deal. Sure, the stitching isn’t perfect, but it’s still cute and girls heart cute.

Himawari

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July 22, 2008 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment


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