Uniqlo uses integrated effort for flagship store launch

NEW YORK: Uniqlo is incorporating fashion and business press outreach with digital to promote the October 14 opening of its largest store to date in New York City.

NEW YORK: Uniqlo is incorporating fashion and business press outreach with digital to promote the October 14 opening of its largest store to date in New York City.

To raise awareness about its new retail locations, the company's internal PR department is working with Burson-Marsteller and boutique firm Agentry PR, said Mary Lawton, Uniqlo US PR manager.

Burson is handling the company's corporate communications and working on broadcast promotions and specific business elements of the project. Agentry is focusing on fashion press and other outreach, including editorial and feature placements and fashion-related events.

The company has also used digital initiatives as a major customer-engagement tool. It launched a website, UniqLooks.Uniqlo.com, to connect with fashion lovers on a local level. Store locations around the world are also taking photos of consumers wearing at least one piece of Uniqlo clothing who are showing off their “street styles,” said Lawton. The company is posting the photos on its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“We have a lot of messages and our use of social media has definitely increased significantly with this opening,” said Lawton.

The Japanese fashion design and manufacturing company has more than 1,100 stores around the globe, including one in New York launched in 2005. However, it wants to greatly increase its brand visibility on the East Coast with the opening of the 89,000-square-foot flagship store on the corner of 53rd St. and 5th Ave. in Manhattan. A week later, Uniqlo will also open a 64,000-square-foot location, its second-largest globally, in the Herald Square shopping area.  

The company has relied heavily on Twitter to increase awareness, added Lawton. After a Twitter contest, the company invited 25 winners to have breakfast with Nicola Formichetti, fashion director at the company and fashion stylist for Lady Gaga, on September 15. The winners also got to see a sneak peek of the Uniqlo Innovation Project, a line of clothing that will be officially revealed at the grand opening of the global flagship store.

In addition to traditional and social media, Uniqlo is also hosting activities in New York before the October 14 launch date. The Uniqlo Cubes, which are traveling pop-up shops, will make appearances at various events throughout the month, including the New York City Food and Wine Festival. The company is also previewing the opening of its fifth “standing” pop-up shop on 42nd St. and 6th Ave. over the weekend, said Lawton.

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