Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo announced that it will enter the Ottawa market this year with its first store. It’s part of a national expansion for Uniqlo that will see it operate locations in the Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa markets by the end of the year.
The Ottawa store at CF Rideau Centre will span about 15,000 square feet, carrying a range of Uniqlo’s in-house brand ‘LifeWear’ for men, women, and children.
“We are proud of our strong connection to Canada,” said Daisuke Tsukagoshi, CEO, UNIQLO North America. “Opening in the nation’s capital marks an important milestone in UNIQLO’s progress; it will allow us to strengthen our relationship with Canadian shoppers and introduce LifeWear to new guests – that clothing is made for everyone every day.”
The CF Rideau Centre store will open in June in a third-level retail space formerly occupied by Victoria’s Secret as well as retail space behind it.
While it hasn’t been officially announced by Uniqlo, a recent article in Retail Insider revealed that Uniqlo will enter the Calgary market later this year with a store at CF Chinook Centre. It will be the second store for Uniqlo in the Alberta market, following the 2019 opening of a storefront at West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton.
Uniqlo currently operates 16 stores in Canada.
Uniqlo entered the Canadian market in September of 2016 when it opened a flagship store at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto. A second Toronto flagship opened a month later at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Uniqlo now has seven stores in the Greater Toronto Area with other locations being at Square One in Mississauga, Vaughan Mills north of Toronto, CF Markvile in Markham, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, and at Oshawa Centre in Oshawa.
Uniqlo’s first store on the West Coast opened at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby in October of 2017, and subsequently opened locations at CF Richmond Centre in Richmond, Coquitlam Centre in Coquitlam, and Guildford Town Centre in Surrey.
Uniqlo’s first store in Montreal opened in October of 2020 in the city’s downtown core at the Montreal Eaton Centre. It remains the largest Uniqlo location in Canada with over 40,000 square feet of leased space facing Ste-Catherine Street. In 2021, a store opened at CF Carrefour Laval near Montreal and in 2022, two other units opened at CF Fairview Pointe Claire and CF Promenades St. Bruno.
Foot traffic patterns may change at CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa following the announcement last month that Nordstrom will be exiting its Canadian operations. The downtown Ottawa mall houses a 157,000 square foot Nordstrom location which will shut by the summer, along with all Canadian stores. CF Rideau Centre is also home to a large La Maison Simons store as well as some notable upscale retailers such as Harry Rosen and Tiffany & Co.
Uniqlo said in a statement that it has a five year plan to operate about 200 stores in North America, with plans to open about 20 stores a year into 2027.
Uniqlo is owned by Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. which is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers. In 2022 it saw sales of about USD$16.6 billion. The company has a total of more than 2,400 stores across the world.