September 30, 2016 marked Uniqlo’s highly anticipated grand opening of their first Canadian store at the Toronto Eaton Centre. With Taiko drummers, free pastries and a draw for a free trip to Tokyo for those in line, there was more than a little buzz stirring for shoppers.
Shoppers eagerly wait at the entrance to Uniqlo’s Toronto Eaton Centre location, who hosted the first store opening in Canada. Photo courtesy: Dr. Jonathan Eto.
Lineups at times spanned almost a block, as shoppers eagerly waited up to three hours to step into the 27,400 square foot, two level flagship store.
Uniqlo was originally founded in March 1949 in Yamaguchi, Japan. At the time, the store was called Ogori Shoji, and ran a men’s clothing line called “Men’s Shop OS.” In May 1984, the company opened its doors as a new unisex casual wear store called “Unique Clothing Warehouse.” By 1988, the name was shortened to Uniqlo and has since grown to have over 1,700 stores over 15 countries globally, touching down in North America in 2005.
The store’s motto, “LifeWear, Simple Made Better” describes their apparel as always evolving, constantly perfecting the perfect shirt, to make your life better. Simplicity, quality, and longevity. Their stores offer cutting edge fashion for an everyday, affordable price.
Uniqlo’s famous graphic t-shirts collections or “UT Projects” often have collaborations with famous artists, photographers, musicians and designers like Peter Saville, KAWS, Pharrell Williams and Nigo.
Uniqlo has scheduled the opening of their second Canadian store Oct. 20, 2016, located at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. A third is set to open later this year or early 217 at Metropolis in Burnaby, B.C. and a fourth in Vancouver, B.C.