BEIJING--Japanese-owned clothing giant Uniqlo opened new outlets in Beijing and Shenyang, Liaoning province, on Sept. 28, its first new stores in China since massive anti-Japan demonstrations erupted across the country earlier this month.
Fast Retailing Co., which operates the casual clothing chain, will add 10 more Uniqlo stores by Oct. 1, as previously scheduled, to continue its sales offensive on the world's largest market.
Despite calls in China for a boycott of Japanese products due to the territorial row over the Senkaku Islands, many shoppers at the new Uniqlo shop in Beijing did not seem to be bothered.
"When I shop, I will not be influenced by bilateral relations," said one shopper, an office worker in her 40s. "People who want to punish Japan should produce goods that are cheaper and better than their Japanese counterparts."
A 42-year-old homemaker who has a Japanese-brand refrigerator and TV set said, "I don't think a boycott will resolve the political issue."
But a passer-by, a college student majoring in law, said she is determined to shun Japanese products.
"Japan's stance is illegal," she said. "As a law major, I will never, ever buy Japanese brands."
According to Fast Retailing, it was operating 145 Uniqlo shops in China as of the end of August.
The company plans to open about 100 outlets in China annually, though the tally for this year will likely come to about 80, according to a company official.
Tadashi Yanai, chairman and president of Fast Retailing, believes that China and other Asian economies are lucrative markets.
"We have great business opportunities there," Yanai said on Sept. 26. "Customers who will enter the middle class in the near future will like our products very much."
- « Prev
- Next »