Top Japanese brand Uniqlo soon in SM malls

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Manila's SM and Japan's Fast Retailing Corp will invest an initial $2.49 million for 3 stores

MANILA, Philippines – Uniqlo casual clothes from Japan will soon be available in SM malls after the retailing giants of the Philippines and Japan entered into a deal that involves an initial $2.49 million fresh capital.

The first of the initial 3 stores of Uniqlo, a top Japanese brand of casual wear, will be unveiled in SM Mall of Asia in June, according to Geraldine Sia, the general manager of the entity behind this new venture.

The store will feature approximately 1,500 sq.m. of floor space, Uniqlo said in a succeeding statement.

The Philippines is the latest market in Southeast Asia that Uniqlo is expanding into, after Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. 

On Tuesday, January 31, Fast Retailing Philippines Inc., a joint venture between SM Retail Inc. and Japanese retail industry leader Fast Retailing Co. Ltd of Japan signed its certificate of investment with the trade department.

Fast Retailing is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer that has branches in in US, UK, Europe and Asia. It features latest fashions for men, women, kids and babies.

SM, on the other hand, operates the widest network of malls in the Philippines, where consumer spending is high.

COMING SOON. SM malls to carry Uniqlo clothing brand. From
Foreign retailer

The joint venture will invest at least $2.49 million this 2012 for the 3 stores, according to a  press statement from the firms.
This investment, which has a foreign component, is the 13th under the Retail Trade Act of 2000, which liberalized the retail industry in the Philippines.

The law allows foreign investors to set up shop in the country if each store has a minimum investment of $830,000.

The law was passed to encourage foreign investors to operate business in the Philippines and will be under review “to see if we can attract more players,” according to Adrian Cristobal, managing head of the trade department’s Board of Investments.

This is SM Retail’s second joint venture for a foreign brand, the other being Forever 21.

The liberalization of retail in the Philippines allowed the entry of high-end brands like Louis Vitton, Gucci among other labels. –

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