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UNIQLO. c o m u n i q l o . c o . u k

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a marketing report on uniqlo by jacqueline mason

Student No. 0502401 Module Code EFPI1004 7th April 2008 uniqlo.com uniqlo.co.uk p.2

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contents in this report

4

Introduction

8

Main body

5

13

8 - Customer - Customer Perceptions 9 - Products and Services - Demographic Issues and Trends 10 - Prices and Values - Distribution 11 - Competitors

12

swot analysis

14

bibliography

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UNIQLO PAPER

summary and marketing objectives

recommendations


introduction This report aims to explore and investigate the Japanese clothing brand UNIQLO, from their mission statement to their competitors.

This report will state which market the brand is playing in and what different ranges they offer. UNIQLO’s ideal customer and demographic will be explored and any issues or trends that affect this group of people. This report will also investigate the brands competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, along with a detailed analysis of UNIQLO’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It will also suggest ways in which to improve the sustainability of the brand and recommendations for the future. Most of the information on UNIQLO can be obtained from their press centre website and buy-online websites, which include press areas with recent press releases and information on the company. They have different websites for Japan, the USA and the UK; this report will mainly focus on the information about UNIQLO in the UK. Their annual report can be found on their UK website and is a detailed summary of the brand and their achievements from August 2005 to August 2006. UNIQLO also have an in house magazine. There have been three issues so far and these inform the reader of their recent ad campaigns and look books and any other exciting activities they have been involved in. UNIQLO have just opened a flagship store on Oxford Street in p.4

November 2007 and because of this there has been a lot of hype around UNIQLO in the UK. Therefore there is a lot of information on the brand from newspapers, journals, trend watching websites and fashion based websites. The information in this report was obtained through desk and field research. Market research was carried out in a questionnaire format which people between the ages of 18 and 25 took part in. Information was also obtained through talking directly to consumers to find out how they view the brand and how it could be improved. The limitations found while researching UNIQLO were that the figures in their annual report only dated to 2006. These were the most recent figures they had released and the company has progressed quite significantly since then as they have now introduced more new stores into the UK. Another limitation was that a lot of the information found on UNIQLO was in Japanese, especially the information found on their press centre website.

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Summary and marketing objectives This section provides an overview of uniqlo as a brand. outlining their main products and services and the brands mission statement .

The brand UNIQLO belongs to the Fast Retailing group, which is a group of companies who aim to be innovative and challenge existing ideas of retail. They want to change the way people view and value their clothes. They are mainly based in Japan but aim to spread to the rest of the world. UNIQLO is their most successful brand and has been in operation since 1984. UNIQLO now have 760 stores worldwide. They have 13 stores in the UK. Fast Retailing’s net sales from Aug 2006 were £2.22 billion and UNIQLO accounted for 87.7% of this figure. They spend 5% of sales on Advertising and Promotion and their annual gross profit for the fiscal year of 2006 was £1.05 billion.

precisely to Japanese standards for quality and so all their garments are made to a very high standard. UNIQLO’s main aim as a fashion brand is to “design, manufacture, market and sell casual wear that can be worn by anyone, any day.” (uniqlo.co.uk, Jan 2008). They believe that clothing can say a lot about a person and encourage their consumers to create their own individual styles using UNIQLO garments as the tools. Therefore they do not force fashion trends on their customers and simply provide them with fashionable, affordable, high quality, casual wear.

Their main products include casual wear for women, men, children and baby. Their accessories consist of bags, belts, scarves, hats, sunglasses and a small selection of jewellery. They also have a home line, which includes towels, bed linen, cushions and rugs. Not all these ranges are available in every country. UNIQLO are a fashion brand that specialise in basic casual garments. They cater for a wide age range and pride themselves on being a fashionable but not fashion led brand. They adhere ISSUE 4

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“uniqlo de

manufact markets casual we can be wo anyone, a p.6

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signs, ures, and sells ar that rn by ny day.� ISSUE 4

UNIQLO PAPER


main body This section takes a closer look at uniqlo as a brand; their demographic, competitors, and distribution.

customer

customer perceptions

It is quite hard to define UNIQLO’s ideal customer as they cater for so many different age ranges and can create so many different styles, but it is suggested that their ideal customer would be a woman at the age of 25, earning around £20,000 a year. She would be living with her partner but not have any children yet, and therefore have some disposable income to spend on clothes. She would buy work clothes and fashion items from UNIQLO.

UNIQLO offers basic casual clothing, which can be worn at work, in the gym, while doing housework or just relaxing at home. They also include more fashionable pieces such as skinny jeans and long knit cardigans, which means consumers, can buy all their fashion essentials and basics from one store. This means shoppers will regularly visit the store, up to twice a week, and, because the prices are relatively low, shoppers can afford to buy something every time they call into the shop. UNIQLO jeans have been very popular recently especially because of their “buy any 2 for £29.99” offer and the recent cold weather. Customers buying patterns rely heavily on weather conditions and seasons. From September to February UNIQLO’s “heat-trapping underwear and down jackets helped boost sales” (Uranaka.T, uk.reuter.com, March 08). Now we are entering spring and the weather is getting warmer, consumers are starting to buy lighter garments and refresh their spring wardrobes.

p.8

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products and services

demographic issues and trends

UNIQLO’s range of garments come in an astonishing number of different colours for men, women, children and babies, this means every customer will be happy as there are colours to suit all tastes and skin tones. UNIQLO also pride themselves on producing their garments to the highest standard and use good quality fabrics such as cashmere. These have been very popular as they have been advertised well in newspapers and magazines and are sold at a very reasonable price for cashmere. UNIQLO are very good at reading their customers and knowing what they want “Uniqlo has also been affected by a deterioration of consumer spending. But it has been able to boost per-customer sales by reducing the number of items and focusing on popular ones.” (Shoda.M, uk.reuter.com, March 08).

UNIQLO as a brand believe people should not be dictated to and should have the opportunity to create their own exclusive style with clothing. Currently, a very prominent trend is to have a very unique clothing style, as no one wants to look the same as anyone else. UNIQLO already support this trend by not forcing fashion on their consumers but they could expand this idea. T-shirts are a very important part of a person’s style and a slogan on a t-shirt can represent how that person thinks or feels.

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UNIQLO PAPER


prices and values

distribution

UNIQLO aim to keep their prices low but the quality of their garments high. They have succeeded well in this endeavour by introducing new offers on their garments such as 2 for £29.99 on men and women’s cotton cashmere sweaters and the same offer on jeans. Customer perceptions of their prices are very positive, as one can easily pick up a complete, good quality outfit for less than £60, which is rare on the high street today.

UNIQLO coordinates and maintains control over the entire production process from manufacture through to sale, including the planning, development, purchase of materials, manufacture, distribution and retail of their products. UNIQLO regards its clothing subcontractors as its “business partners bound by strong ties of trust” which ensures they can oversee all points of development and intervene if needed to ensure the production of high quality garments (Fast Retailing Annual Report 2006 p.25). UNIQLO are very conscious in caring for the environment therefore have worked to increase efficiency when distributing their stock. They have reduced the weight of the cardboard boxes used in product transport to improve distribution loading efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. They are also working on recycling and reusing hangers in order to decrease waste.

p.10

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competitors UNIQLO’s main competitors are Gap, United Colors of Benetton and American Apparel. They all offer reasonably priced casual wear and basics in a variety of colours and styles. UNIQLO has often been referred to as the Gap of Japan but currently have slightly lower prices than Gap so can look more appealing to the consumer. Although, currently “Fast Retailing’s market capitalisation is about half of Gap’s, yet its annual sales amount to only about one quarter of the US retailer’s” which shows they are not as financially successful as Gap Inc (Fukui.M insideretailing.com.au, July 07).

Shop

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

United Colors of Benetton

- Women!s, Men!s, Kids, Home ranges. - Clothes appeal to a wide audience. - Stores all over the world. - Support eco friendly ways – eco leather.

- Not very exciting ad campaigns compared to 80!s. - Tired looking stores. - Plain garments. - Not much media coverage in UK.

- Create new and exciting ad campaigns e.g. David Lachapelle. - Designer collaborations to make the clothing more appealing. - Revamp stores. - More UK advertising.

- War. - Terrorism. - Economic crisis. - Bankruptcy. - Competitors.

Gap

- Baby, Kids, Men!s, Women!s, Maternity ranges. - Help charities such as (PRODUCT) RED. - Do interesting collaborations e.g. Vespa. - Good range of Denim.

- No UK website. - Not completely fashion led. - Stopped doing eye catching TV ads. - Do not make use of new exciting technologies.

- Adhere to fashion trends more e.g. skinny jeans. - Start another TV ad campaign. - Make use of new technologies such as pop up stores selling limited edition products.

- War. - Terrorism. - Economic crisis. - Bankruptcy. - Competitors.

American Apparel

- Internationally successful. - Very fashion led. - Very popular with younger generation. - Gets lots of press coverage. - Men!s, Women!s, Kid, Baby, Dog ranges. - Have an organic range of clothes.

- Not much attention drawn to their organic range. - Doesn!t appeal to older age range.

- Expand organic range. - Advertise their organic range. - Could advertise the brand towards the older generation by marketing it as a sportswear brand.

- War. - Terrorism. - Economic crisis. - Bankruptcy. - Competitors.

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Swot analysis an overview of uniqlo’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

strengths

weaknesses

• Cheap prices for quality products. • Special offers e.g. 2 pairs of jeans for £19.99. • Very good range of Denim. • Cheap range of cashmere jumpers and cardigans. • Cheap essentials and basics. • Cater for all ages, young and old. • Many different ranges – Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, Baby, Home, Accessories. • Internationally successful – have stores in Japan, UK, USA, France, Hong Kong and more. • Striking ad campaigns. • Always trying new ways to sell their products and create interest – pop up stores, artist collaborations (UT), and container stores. • Very good websites, interactive and exciting. • Try to be environmentally friendly in the manufacture and distribution of their products.

• Clothes are quite plain, no patterns. • Not all clothes and ranges are available on website. • Do not sell every range in every country. • Stores in UK mainly concentrated around London. • Do not advertise some collaborations and interesting things they do in UK e.g. Uniqlo Jump. All just found on the website.

opportunities

threats

• New stores in UK, in big cities e.g. Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester. • Think of more ways to sell their products e.g. Vending Machines or Catwalk shows. • Add some interesting, patterned pieces into their collections to compliment the block colours. • Maternity range. • Amplify their views on environmentally friendly ways by creating an organic clothing range.

• War. • Terrorism. • Economic crisis. • Bankruptcy. • Competitors such as Gap, United Colors of Benetton and American Apparel.

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recommendations THIs section looks to what lies ahead and suggests some ideas to make the brand more sustainable in the future .

In order to continue as a successful brand UNIQLO needs to keep up with current trends such as concerns about the environment. They are already conscious of environmental issues and have introduced a recycling initiative where used UNIQLO garments are reused as relief clothing and recycled as insulation or fuel. They could increase these efforts by introducing a recycled clothing range and reuse these garments to create new ones. Another way of keeping up with other high street brands would be to introduce a maternity range. This makes sense as they already have a children and baby range and if they were to include a ISSUE 4

pregnancy line women could get all their clothing essentials for themselves and their baby from one brand; before, during and after their pregnancy. UNIQLO are very good at introducing new and exciting technologies and collaboration to keep their brand fresh and a way of sustaining this idea would be to introduce a vending machine where the customer can produce personalised t-shirts. This plays on the idea of a t-shirt being a very personal item and can reveal a persons opinions and thoughts.

UNIQLO PAPER


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bibliography everything that was consulted in the making of this report

websites Fukui.M (Jul 07) Uniqlo-the generic brand with mass appeal. www. insideretailing.com.au (15.03.08) Germain.E (Feb 08) Future Brand Trends Uncovered. www. designweek.co.uk (17.03.08) Hancock.C (June 07) Dialogue T shirt. www.springwise.com (20.03.08) Huang.C (March 08) Goodbye Service Personnel. www.pskf.com (20.03.08) International Herald Tribune (Jul 07) Japan’s Uniqlo to challenge Gap USA. www.bakascorner.wordpress.com (05.03.08) Marian (May 07) Richardson does Uniqlo UT. www.fuk.co.uk (25.02.08) Mervis.J (March 08) Global T shirt Portal. www.springwise.com (20.03.08) Nice.D (Nov 07) DIY Dress Design. www.springwise.com (20.03.08) Nucifora.A (Nov 06) Concierge Services Now Moving From Hotel To Mainstream www.nucifora.com (17.03.08) p.16

Reid.W (Nov 07) Uniqlo UT project. www.brandish.tv (25.02.08) Svendsen.B (Sept 07) Solar Powered Vending Machines. www. springwise.com (06.03.08) UNIQLO (2008) Company Information. www.uniqlo.co.uk (25.02.08) UNIQLO (Nov 07) UNIQLO London flagship store. www.uniqlo. co.uk/press-centre (25.02.08) UNIQLO (2007) UT. www.ut.uniqlo.com (05.03.08) UNIQLO (April 07) Uniqlo introduce U shot by Terry Richardson. www.uniqlo.co.uk (25.02.08) Unknown (2007) Uniqlo UT project with Terry Richardson. www. hypebeast.com (25.02.08) Uranaka.T (March 08) Fast Retailing shares jump on stronger Uniqlo sales. www.uk.reauter.com (20.03.08)

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books

journal articles

Din.R (2000) New Retail. London: Conran Octopus Ltd Easey.M (2002) Fashion Marketing. 2nd edition. London: Blackwell Science Ltd Evans.C (2003) Fashion at the Edge. London: Yale University Press Philips (1996) Vision of the Future. Netherlands: V+K publishing. Tungae.M (2005) Fashion Brands. London: Kogan Page

Gregory.R (2007) Delight: Uniqlo architecture. The Architectural Review. P.90(1). Unknown (2007) Branding: Design choice – Uniqlo, Oxford Street. Marketing. P.09.

newspaper articles

images

Davis.J (2007) Tokyo takeover: Fashion brand Uniqlo is about to take the British high street by storm. Independant. (09.12.07) Seal.R (2007) Uniqlo gets really cool. Observer. 13.05.07

Fatlace.M (2006) Uniqlo container store. www.fatlace.com (06.03.08) Uniqlo (2007) Uniqlo style ideas. www.catwalkqueen.tv (04.04.08) Poulain.D (2007) LDN. www.damienpoulain.com (25.02.08)

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tv programmes Advertising Uncut. (2008) Channel 4. 12 March 08.

UNIQLO PAPER


uniqlo

jacqueline mason

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