TORONTO — Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo will open its first two Canadian stores in Toronto next year.
Uniqlo is owned by Fast Retailing Co., which designs, manufactures and sells clothing under several brands around the world.
Uniqlo currently has more than 1,500 stores in 16 markets, including 39 in the United States.
The company will open two flagship-level stores in Toronto: a 28,000 square-foot location at the Eaton Centre downtown, and a 24,000 square-foot location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
The stores will open in the fall of 2016.
The Eaton Centre is owned by Cadillac Fairview, an arm of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, while Yorkdale is co-owned by Oxford Properties — part of the OMERS pension system — and Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo).
"We just felt that the opportunities, the locations in both Yorkdale and Eaton Centre at this particular time were very attractive to open,'' Uniqlo USA and Canada CEO Larry Meyer said in a phone interview from Hong Kong.
Meyer said Uniqlo looks forward to opening in Western Canada but that the company needs to find the right location. He said it was too soon to assess whether Target's soon-to-be-shuttered Canadian locations could be potential future homes for Uniqlo stores. Meyer also said the company is working on establishing e-commerce in Canada.
The casual clothing retailer offers moderately priced apparel and accessories for men, women, children and babies including button-down shirts and blouses, sweaters, T-shirts, sweats, jeans, loungewear, hats, bags and belts. The company also offers unique and proprietary collections such as its Ultra Light Down outerwear and functional HEATTECH and AIRism apparel.
Uniqlo has prominent pro athletes serving as brand ambassadors including tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori and golfer Adam Scott.
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