This is how Uniqlo became a $19 billion/year global success story.

1/ Humble Japanese origins

Uniqlo’s founder (Tadashi Yanai) was born in the clothing business.

In 1972, he inherits his father’s men’s tailoring business but decides to move into casual wear.

His inspiration: Gap, Benetton...; which he discovered traveling the US.

Uniqlo was born.

2/ Bad perception

Uniqlo’s concept works, with over 300 stores opening in Japan in the 90s.

The only problem: the brand is perceived as cheap & low-quality; so they try a new strategy that would soon turn Uniqlo into a global empire:

Provide luxury fabrics at a low price.

3/ The cashmere campaign

Cashmere was the perfect starting point for this new strategy.

By sourcing the cashmere themselves, they managed to launch the most affordable cashmere product line on the market in 2003.

It was an immediate hit.

They’ll do the same with wool, silk, technical fabrics...

4/ Low product count

Focusing on luxury fabrics has a downside though.

Uniqlo cannot offer too many collections.

Their average product count is 3 times lower than competitors.

5/ Affordable luxury

In 2004, they also decided to use megastores for their international expansion.

Thousands of square meters are strategically placed near designer and luxury stores, raising the brand image and attracting big spenders who’ll buy their basics at Uniqlo.

Thanks for reading!


Hey! if you enjoyed this piece, it would help us a lot to follow us and retweet this Thread on Twitter. 🐦

Thank you so much! 😊