According to The Australian Financial Review today, eighteen months after opening its first store in Australia, UNIQLO has unveiled plans to open stores in Indooropilly next month and in Brisbane and Chatswood early next year, taking the number of stores to 10.
Matt Parker, UNIQLO Australia's chief development officer, says the fast-growing chain is also looking for sites in South Australia and Western Australia and regional centres in all states.
"We are looking at a lot of different opportunities right across Australia," said Mr Parker. "We'd like to take our brand to as much of Australia as we can."
UNIQLO's founder, Tadashi Yanai, wants the 31-year old chain to become the market leader in casual apparel in Australia and the global leader by 2020.
This means UNIQLO's sales in Australia would need to reach $1 billion, exceeding those at specialty retailers such as The Country Road Group, Premier Investments' Just Jeans, Portmans, Dotti and Jay Jays brands, Specialty Fashion and Cotton On Group.
UNIQLO has more than 1600 stores in 17 countries including Japan, the US, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Mr Parker said UNIQLO Australia's sales to date had exceeded the company's expectations, fuelled by strong demand for its ultra-light down jackets and vests, cashmere sweaters, linen shirts and temperature-regulating "innerwear".
"We're very happy with the way we're trading in Australia," he said.
"We have high-quality products that are very functional and at an affordable price. The Australian customer is very sophisticated and they know the difference between quality and non-quality.
UNIQLO generated sales of $33 million in the first five months after opening its first store in Melbourne's Emporium in April last year, according to ASIC filings.
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