Uniqlo Planning U.S. Takeover Starting with San Francisco Flagship

Uniqlo has its eye on America's sea to shining sea. With a goal of $10 billion in North American sales by 2020, the fast-fashion retailer plans on opening "hundreds and hundreds" of stores nationwide, according to Yasunobu Kyogoku, chief operating officer of Uniqlo USA. There are already three stores in New York and next up is a flagship in San Francisco, where they also plan on opening up the West Coast operations office.

Its the center of innovation and hi-tech and software, Kyogoku said of San Fran. Its very important for us to be present in that market in a big way. Kyogu and Uniqlo intend to have multiple stores in major cities that are on their "radar screen," including New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston and even more in Manhattan.

It's a full-scale Japanese invasion but no need to sound the alarm -- they come in fashionable peace.

The chain recently signed the lease on a 29,000-sq-foot flagship in Frisco where some of the 50 managers they hired in New York and trained in Japan will be transferred once the store's ready for business. As for the operations office, it will handle the West Coast expansion; but before that goes into full swing, Kyogoku admits Uniqlo will have to build its brand recognition on that shining seaside. [WWD, sub req'd]

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