- Kristopher Fraser |
The brick-and-mortar market is tough, but Uniqlo is still finding ways to grow their business. The fast-fashion retailer may have just found the answer to their problems through vending machines.
Uniqlo will be rolling out 10 vending machines over the next two months at airports and malls in several major U.S. cities including New York and Houston.
The first Uniqlo To Go machine went live today in Oakland, California at the Oakland International Airport.
Uniqlo to adopt vending machine strategy for business growth
The Wall Street Journal has reported that the six-feet-high vending machines will carry an assortment of mostly heat-retaining shirts and lightweight down jackets, and items will be dispensed in boxes and cans. Customers can return them at a store or by mail.
Uniqlo originally had a very ambitious retail expansion plan several years ago that involved an having 200 brick-and-mortar stores by 2021, but as they had trouble gaining popularity in other markets outside of the U.S. and Japan, as well as competing with other fast-fashion retailers like H&M and Zara, they dialed back on big expansion plans.
Their new strategy, aside from these vending machines, is to focus on pop-up stores and flagship presence.
Currently, Uniqlo ranks as the world's third largest retailer behind both Zara and H&M.
Photo: via Uniqlo.com