The Greater Toronto Area’s first two Uniqlo stores are set for a fall 2016 opening, effectively marking the company’s first entry into the Canadian retail landscape.
Currently, the Japanese fast-fashion retailer is in the process of constructing its new spaces within Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto and Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The stores are 28,000 square feet and 24,000 square feet in size, respectively, which are considerably larger than Uniqlo’s average store size of about 16,000 square feet.
The retailer’s urban and flagship locations are typically between 25,000 to 35,000 square feet and some of its largest locations, in New York and Chicago, are more than twice the size of most flagships.
Another store will also open in the West Coast, at Metro Vancouver’s Metropolis at Metrotown shopping centre, in late 2016 or early 2017 – taking over a space previously occupied by Home Outfitters. This store’s floor area is also anticipated to be close to 30,000 square feet.
Uniqlo directly competes with other multinational fast fashion companies such as H&M, Zara, and Topshop & Topman. It is best known for its simple, basic designs and use of higher-quality materials.
There are currently over 1,400 Uniqlo stores worldwide across 14 countries, but the company only recently began tapping into the North American market. It opened its first West Coast store in 2012 at San Francisco’s Union Square and in November 2015 it opened a store in Bellevue, Washington State to serve the Seattle market.