Japanese brand Uniqlo is set to make its grand debut in India. Asia’s largest apparel retailer looks to join Zara, Forever 21, and H&M to open stores in what’s Asia’s third-largest economy. As it stands, the brand is fairly niche in the country, however; Pankaj Renjhen, the managing director of retail at real estate consultancy JLL India has stated: “Not too many Indians know it as (well as) they know a Zara or H&M, so expansion is going to be a big challenge. Since Uniqlo is a basics brand… its positioning will have to be in line with that, which means the sizes and pricing will need to be tailored to India.”
Ankur Bisen, the vice-president of retail and consumer products at Technopak, believes Uniqlo may have a target audience waiting for them. “While Zara and H&M are high on the fashion quotient, Uniqlo will have an appeal with the more young, office-going crowd as it offers casual wear at affordable prices,” says Bisen. “It also has a wide range for both men and women.” Uniqlo is currently holding a 6.5% share of the apparel market with a record operating profit of $1.57 billion USD for the year ended August 2017 and this move to India may prove to increase those numbers.