UNIQLO to Enter Calgary Market with 1st Store: Interview with CEO Daisuke Tsukagoshi

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Global retailer UNIQLO will open its first store in Calgary this spring at CF Chinook Centre in over 15,000 square feet.

Calgary will be Canada’s second new store opening this year after UNIQLO’s Ottawa location launching in June 2023. Building upon the momentum of its expansion strategy, UNIQLO is entering new cities across the U.S. and Canada. UNIQLO aims to open 20 new stores a year to reach 200 in North America by 2027, said the company.

“We are excited to open our first store in Calgary and expand our footprint in Alberta,” said Daisuke Tsukagoshi, CEO of UNIQLO North America. “Since opening our Edmonton store in 2019, it is clear that the Alberta customer resonates with the LifeWear message – that clothing is made for everyone every day.

“We opened our first Canadian location in 2016 in Toronto at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Since then, we have grown in Canada; we currently have 16 locations throughout Ontario, BC, Quebec, and Alberta. And we are online at UNIQLO.ca. Since 2022 we have opened two new locations, both in Quebec at CF Fairview Pointe-Claire and CF Promenades St-Bruno. Additionally, we are excited to expand our footprint within new locations in Ottawa at CF Rideau Centre and Calgary at CF Chinook Centre.

Click image for interactive mall map

“We look to expand within the North American market and have accelerated our growth strategy in Canada and the US; this includes opening new stores in key regions throughout Canada. We aim to open 20 new stores yearly to reach 200 in North America by 2027.”

Globally it has more than 2,400 locations across 27 countries.

Daisuke Tsukagoshi, image: Uniqlo

“Canadian customers are akin to European shoppers. Europeans share similar values as Canadians, such as resilience, humility, and good character. They shop with longevity in mind – essential clothing that compliments their lifestyles, made to be building blocks of their wardrobe that take you from year to year; this is one of the many reasons why UNIQLO resonates with Canadian consumers,” said Tsukagoshi.

The brand will be moving into the old Victoria’s Secret/Pink space at CF Chinook Centre as that retailer is relocating in Calgary’s most popular shopping centre.

Uniqlo store

“UNIQLO Founder Tadashi Yanai began his career working with his family’s retail business, Ogori Shoji Co. In those early days, Mr.Yanai cultivated his skillset in the retail space. He later evolved the family’s business concept and opened the first UNIQLO in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1984,” said Tsukagoshi.

“UNIQLO has always strived to offer thoughtfully crafted clothing with life’s needs in mind; this truly sets us apart  – we call this LifeWear. Our LifeWear philosophy – not just a term for our clothing but the philosophy in which we run our business; our purpose for existing.”

The company said its new location in Calgary will offer the brand’s unique guest experience with its entire lineup of LifeWear for men, women, and kids. Through the lens of innovation, LifeWear clothing is designed to make everyone’s life better. It is simple, high-quality, everyday clothing, thoughtfully crafted with life’s needs in mind and is constantly evolving to modern life, it said.

“UNIQLO will offer the brand’s iconic products for men, women, and children, such as Ultra-Light Down – warm, packable jackets perfect for layering or travel – and AIRism– an innovative breathable fabric that actively wicks away moisture and heat from the skin. Other staples include BlueCycle jeans, made using just a teacup’s worth of water – up to 99% less than in the standard jeans finishing process – and high-quality knits, windproof fleece, t-shirts, and more,” it said.

“Additionally, the store will offer its buy-online-pickup-in-store service to ensure customers leave with what they need in the right fit and complimentary alterations. For any pair of pants $20 or above (excluding athletic wear and sweatpants), UNIQLO provides free hemming services to ensure pant lengths fit the customers’ unique measurements.”

Jeff Berkowitz of Aurora Realty Consultants represents UNIQLO in Canada and negotiated the Canadian store leases, including the new Calgary location.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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