Uniqlo Pushes Partnership With Disney

For children, Disney World is the happiest place on Earth.

Japanese speciality merchant Uniqlo is apparently hoping some of that particular magic can rub off on retailers.

The brand has announced its plans to push its presence in the Southeast U.S. and is expanding its branding relationship with Disney. Coming soon to WDW Resort’s Disney Springs shopping area is a a two-level, 25,000-square-foot store.

According to reports, the new Uniqlo will incorporate the retailer’s Japanese origin with displays meant to highlight the cultural traditions. The colorful visualizations will be buttressed by Japan-inspired daily giveaways and in-store events such as Taiko drummers and a Japanese-style game show.

The “Magic For All” Global initiative with Disney Consumer Products includes apparel focused around Disney, Pixar and Star Wars designs. That branding push is already prominently on display in Uniqlo’s five-story flagship in Shanghai as well as in themed sections within its flagship stores globally.

“We are very excited to introduce our Uniqlo products, customer service and shopping experience to Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort,” said Hiroshi Taki, CEO of Uniqlo USA. “We are proud of our collaboration with Disney Consumer Products, and we look forward to offering our unique retail concept and products to vacationers and locals alike at Disney Springs. We hope to make every day at our store feel like opening day for our customers.”

Uniqlo currently operates 43 stores in the United States.

And if expansion news seems a bit surprising, it may be because you remember last week’s Retail Bankruptcy Roundup, where Uniqlo was one of the starring players.  The firm is not nearing Chapter 11 of course, but it is re-aligning its store footprint and closing up shop.

Uniqlo had closed five U.S.-based stores since January, and according to an interview by Uniqlo spokesman Aldo Liguori in the New York Post, the moves are part of a larger strategy to move away from suburban locations and their smaller footprints in favor of the larger flagship designs it can justify in densely populated cities. The stores that have closed have all been open for less than three years, and to a store front, they were all located in suburban commercial properties in New Jersey, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

“The U.S. is very important to the company,” Liguori said. “We are focusing on large cities where we can open large stores.”


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