Japan’s Uniqlo plans India debut in Delhi from October

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Published: July 18, 2019 2:55:47 AM

Uniqlo is understood to have entered into single-brand retail in India by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary in the country. The retailer's entry into India comes at a time when the government is working on policy measures to ease local sourcing norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail.

Japan, Uniqlo, apparel retailer, India, H&M, Zara ,  Spanish fashion retailer, Swedish apparel retailer, fashion market, fashion market in indiaUniqlo will compete with Swedish apparel retailer H&M and Spanish fashion retailer Zara in the country. (Image: uniqlo.com)

Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo on Wednesday said it will make its India launch with three stores in Delhi-NCR. The first of the three stores is slated to open in October in New Delhi. Uniqlo that has over 1,240 stores globally against over 800 stores in Japan will set up its first New Delhi store in Ambience mall, Vasant Kunj, measuring close to 35,000 square feet in total sales area on three levels, the company said in a statement. The other two stores will come up at DLF place, Saket and DLF Cyberhub in Gurgaon.

Uniqlo is understood to have entered into single-brand retail in India by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary in the country. The retailer’s entry into India comes at a time when the government is working on policy measures to ease local sourcing norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail.

The current norms, which mandate foreign companies investing beyond 51% in single-brand retail trading in the country to locally source 30% of value of products sold, have been a pain point for many firms, analysts said. Barring a few, most of the companies so far have entered via the franchise route.

Uniqlo will compete with Swedish apparel retailer H&M and Spanish fashion retailer Zara in the country. “We are committed to the Indian market and are very excited to be launching our first three stores in Delhi, a region that embraces diversity and culture, from art and design to craftmanship and fashion,” said Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo founder, and chairman, president & CEO of Fast Retailing. In a recent interview to local media, Yanai said India is expected to be the largest market for the retailer, leaving China and Japan behind.

In 2012, the government allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail under the government approval route. In January 2018, the government allowed up to 100% FDI in single-brand retail via automatic route, scrapping the need to seek its approval beyond 49%.

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