There are still a lot of people who have never heard of Uniqlo, so if you're among them don't feel bad about it. It's one of the best-kept secrets in the commercial clothing industry, but all that's about to change. Uniqlo is a unique type of clothing warehouse and it's recently entered multiple new markets in the United States. Projections predict that it will soon be one of the largest apparel companies in the world if it continues to progress on its current trajectory. To bring everybody up to speed here are 20 things you didn't know about Uniqlo.
1. The company name happened by accident
The name Uniqlo is unique, there is no denying this, but most people don't know that the name of the businesses was originally intended to be Uniclo. It was a combination of the words unique and clothing and it was intended to describe the nature of the business. It was actually a clerical error that resulted in the name Uniqlo. When the company's registration was sent in, a clerical error was made and although not the original name or spelling intended, it worked well and it stuck. The owners didn't bother to correct the error, instead, they just went with it.
2. They go way beyond the basics
There is an erroneous belief circulating within the public about the kinds of clothing that Uniqlo provides. While it's true that they do offer the basics including sweaters, shirts, and tees, there is much more to the retailer than this. They also offer a wide range of 100% cashmere sweaters, Down jackets and vests and some very fancy t-shirts made of hard to find materials. They're not your average clothing retailer and it is the fine details that set them apart.
3. Uniqlo originated decades ago in Japan
An interesting and fun fact about Uniqlo is that they opened their doors to the very first customers in 1949. They've been in business for well over half a century, yet not everyone in the world has heard about them yet. It could be in part because they are a Japanese company.
4. They're one of the most up and coming stores in Singapore
If you ask anyone in Singapore what they think about Uniqlo, they're likely to tell you that it's a great place to go for the basics. They offer a good variety of clothing at affordable prices, but this is one of the misperceptions. It is all of these things, but they are terribly underrated. They are actually already doing very well. They own around 1,600 stores and in addition to this, these stores are distributed throughout 16 different countries throughout the world.
5. Uniqlo has some home-grown execs
Uniqlo is a company where employees have the opportunity for advancement if this is their desire. There are some executives in the company who started out working for them at the store level, and they worked hard and advanced with the company to become leaders. Some went from working on the sales floor to directors, regional managers of several of the stores in an area and even rose to executive positions within Uniqlo.
6. Uniqlo clothing are works of art
Uniqlo is a clothing warehouse that is unique in many ways. They formed a collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art and through the partnership, Uniqlo has developed a line of special edition clothing that place the spotlight on certain art designs inspired by some of the most famous artists in the world. You can purchase these specialty items at the Manhattan museum location as well as in several of Uniqlo's outlets throughout the United States.
7. Uniqlo has research-based clothing
Uniqlo invested in technology when they developed their Heattech line of clothes. These threads are made to keep the winter cold at bay and keep you warm and toasty. In 2003, Uniqlo partnered with Toray and a design team of 30 put their heads together to come up with over 10,000 samples and more than a hundred prototypes before they were satisfied with their current design.
8. They're big on collaborations and partnerships
Uniqlo recently partnered with an array of designers and famous celebrity personalities in the development of several of their popular clothing lines. They worked with designer duo Christophe Lemaire as well as Carine Roitfeld, Jil Sanders, Alexander Wange and Pharrell Williams. of the many collaborations that they've had, the most successful to date was their work in 2009 with Jil Sanders in the launch of the +J collection.
9. Uniqlo has futuristic jeans
Uniqlo's name promises that they are a unique clothing company and they have a line of jeans that feature some amazing and futuristic technology. For example, their SMart Shape jeans feature a unique lining that is called "power netting." The material actually helps to shape the midriff area to slim the waistline and give you a sleeker and trimmer appearance. They also joined forces with the famous Kaihara, Japanese denim maker to produce a selvage jean that has a very comfortable stretchy quality that is form fitting and they call them their Miracle Air jeans.
10. Uniqlo takes their work with charities seriously
They are a company that truly cares and believes in giving back to the communities that they serve. Uniqlo began a series of recycling campaigns in 2001. They collect used clothing on a regular basis and then they redistribute them to people who are in need. Some of the employees working for Uniqlo in the United States even volunteered to help do repair and restorations in areas that were in need of assistance.
11. Uniqlo ran into problems in 2001
In 2001, there was a problem that arose when a coalition of Japanese domestic manufacturers became worried that Uniqlo was going to become too large. They attempted to convince the government of Japan to place an import block on all of the companies that Uniqlo was working with. They presented the argument that Uniqlo had the potential to wipe out domestic production.
12. Uniqlo is a giving organization
Uniqlo has given the world a lot already. Can you believe that they actually offer fifty different colors of socks? It's true. Bt this isn't the only thing that they do well. We talked earlier about their recycling project and the fact that they do a lot to help local communities wherever their stores happen to be located, but this was just half of the story. The company has maintained consistency in their efforts to give clothing to the needy, but in addition to this, they set out to collect a total of ten million articles of quality clothing around the globe. They launched a massive campaign to make sure that these items were distributed to refugees around the world to help defray the crisis by supplying destitute people with the clothing that they need. Uniqlo is a company that is truly doing their part to make the world a better place to live.
13. The Uniqlo invasion is coming to America
Uniqlo has established over sixteen hundred stores in locations throughout the world. They have not been as prolific in the United States and this is one of the reasons why so many Americans are unfamiliar with the retailer. It really is a giant and it's expanding globally at a rapid pace. There are plans to establish a plethora of Uniqlo stores throughout the USA and they've already set up shop in Seattle, Washington, Boston, Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois. The Uniqlo phenomenon is coming to America and if you haven't heard about it yet, it won't be long until a store will be coming close to your town.
14. Uniqlo helped in the Olympics
The company has always taken an active interest in being involved with important events that are taking place throughout the world. As far back as 1998, they supplied the uniforms Japan's Olympic team in 1998. They also made their uniforms for 2002 and 2004 as well.
15. Uniqlo is a group of pranksters
Uniqlo is a company with a sense of humor. They played some really good pranks back in 2012. They went into the famous and popular Pinterest site and created around one hundred accounts. Then they hacked into Pinterest and posted on every one of the accounts. Little did everyone know that this would become an advertisement as people began to scroll down the pages. It was a little confusing for viewers at first, but when they caught on it was amazing.
16. Uniqlo employs a diverse workgroup
This company is so truly amazing that they ensure that all people are treated fairly and with dignity. It is common knowledge that a high percentage of the staff that works at the company have disabilities. They outrank all other Japanese employers within the country with the highest percentages of disabled employees within their massive workforce. It would seem that Uniqlo is more interested in what a person can do than what they cannot. We applaud them for this.
17. They support grad students with scholarships
Education is expensive wherever in the world you go and the majority of graduate students have to work very hard to pay for their educations. Uniqlo issues 10 scholarships per year to Japanese graduate students. The grants pay the cost in full for attendance at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Stanford Graduate School of Business or Parsons The New School For Design. This is over and above what most companies are willing to do and it shows that they have a solid commitment to being instrumental in shaping the next generation of business professionals within the fashion and retail industry in the country of Japan. They truly make a difference in real people's lives by their generous giving campaigns.
18. Uniqlo is much more than a retailer
Uniqlo is one of those special retail stores that goes the extra mile to make sure that each customer gets the perfect fit every time. Every time a customer purchases a pair of jeans that cost $20 or over, they are entitled to free in-store tailoring services. This ensures a perfect fit for every pair of jeans that you buy through Uniqlo. If you buy jeans that are under the $20 threshold and they could use a little work here and there, they charge only $5 for alteration services. This is a really good deal and it's only one of the reasons why Uniqlo is such a well-loved store wherever they exist. Another thing about their alteration services that is worth mentioning is that they do all the work on the spot and your finished garment will be ready within one hour.
19. Uniqlo had a major failure in America
Prior to the launch of their flagship store that was opened in Soho, Uniqlo set out on an experiment in the United States. They chose the state of New Jersey to open three experimental stores. They just wanted to test the waters to see how well-received they would be in America. It only took two years for all three of the stores to fail miserably and within two years of being opened they shut down.
20. Everyone is paid equally
Uniqlo has a very unusual way of paying their employees. They are a company that is very much focused upon fairness in the workplace. We've seen that in many aspects of the way that they conduct hires and also in their treatment of employees. Their employees are given the same salary for the same job. This isn't just according to location either. They operate on a universal payment system that ensures that every sales floor representative is paid the same amount in every country of the world. So if you're an employee who is working in an office job in Singapore, you can be guaranteed that the person who is working in the same job in Berlin is making the exact same amount that you are. This is just one more thing about Uniqlo that is so impressive. They are a dynamic company that shows it truly cares about people as much as it does about profits. They don't just use lip service either. They show it through their actions in many different aspects of their operations.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker