TORONTO — UNIQLO, one of the most popular affordable fashion retailers in Japan, recently showed off their Fall and Winter lineup in Toronto’s historic Distillery District ahead of their flagship stores openings this October.
UNIQLO Canada’s Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Hayashi was in Toronto for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2016 Canadian preview event. He says that the, “Customer is always king.” Photo by: Lauren Scott
Founded upon the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity, UNIQLO Canada’s Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Hayashi says that the clothes are designed to suit the needs of the customer and to “make their lives better.” The company’s core belief is that they sell, “simple apparel with a not-so-simple purpose.”
“And the customer is always king,” Hayashi who was in Toronto for the Fall/Winter 2016 Press Preview, tells Nikkei Voice. “The customer is always right, maybe this is [part of] Japanese culture.”
A selection of UNIQLO’s top selling cold-weather gear including “HEATTECH” thermal wear, Ultra Light Down jackets and vests, and cashmere knit sweaters lined the walls of the downtown showroom. Hayashi expects these products to sell well due to Canada’s frigid climate.
Hayashi, who began his career with UNIQLO in the early 2000s as a store manager, says that he is looking forward to his new role in Canada after overseeing the rollout of the brand in Jakarta, Indonesia. “We want to become accepted here in Canada,” Hayashi says. “Ultimately my goal is that Canadians and Torontonians say, ‘I’m glad UNIQLO is here.'”
With over 800 stores in Japan and nearly 1700 stores worldwide, UNIQLO is the world’s fourth largest “fast-fashion” retailer after Zara, H&M and Gap. This fall, Canada will become UNIQLO’s 18th international market, with two locations opening up in Toronto at the Eaton Centre and Yorkdale mall.