UNIQLO brings Japanese culture to Cherry Hill

On Sept. 26, the Cherry Hill Mall premiered a new store called UNIQLO. The store offers clothes for all genders and age groups, ranging from a newborn baby to a full grown adult. UNIQLO originated in Japan and that is where the majority of its stores are located.

UNIQLO is a franchise company and is fairly new to the market. Launched in 1984, UNIQLO has approximately 25 stores internationally, including those in Japan and the Mid-Atlantic region. Besides the Cherry Hill Mall, UNIQLO’s tri-state locations vary from Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, to Willowbrook, New Jersey and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The company aims to open 200 new stores by the end of 2016, which will be a huge expansion for the company.

Interestingly enough, when the UNIQLO founder, Tadashi Yanai, initially applied for a bank loan to start the company, the bank rejected his appeal. Yanai was forced to use and earn his own money to open his dream store. UNIQLO is currently the largest apparel chain in all of Europe, a major feat in such a fashion-focused country.

“UNIQLO clothes are made for all – highly finished elements of style in clothes that suit your values wherever you live. This unique concept of clothes sets us apart from apparel companies whose sole purpose is the pursuit of fashion trends,” said Yanai, UNIQLO’s founder.

UNIQLO has been received with primarily positive public reviews. Many who have encountered the fashionable store love it, and praise UNIQLO for its store organization and its display on male mannequins and female ones as well.

“Yanai and other founders [were] looking for basic, comfortable clothing for everyone, and also just reasonable prices”, said UNIQLO manager Ashley Douglas.

UNIQLO has been repeatedly said to have better quality clothing than the clothes sold at H & M, with similar prices and comparable merchandise.

UNIQLO also has a great working environment.

“[UNIQLO is] very family-oriented, yet also very strict, but they do it for a certain reason,” said Douglas, “UNIQLO has taught me a lot about myself, and about leadership.”

Like every other store, UNIQLO has its slower days, while also containing more demanding, faster paced days. The store’s high-traffic days undoubtedly consist of Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, whereas its slower paced days include Monday and Tuesday, as the store recovers from the rush of the weekend. UNIQLO hopes to soon raise the number of busy days and ultimately gain more popularity.

Yoav Varadi (‘16) said, “UNIQLO is a very cool store. The clothing is very futuristic yet simple. I will definitely shop here in the future.”

Due to UNIQLO’s recent opening, the store continues to gain momentum in the South Jersey region. UNIQLO has a bright future; while only being open for approximately one month, the store has managed to bustle with activity already. One factor that might be the cause of UNIQLO’s popularity is its organization, trendiness, and quality.