Uniqlo hopes to steal a slice of the UK kidswear market by rolling out its children’s collection across its 10 stores.
The Japanese retailer, which already sells the range in Japan and the US, told Drapers “the time is right” to break into the UK following a trial of the strategy at its Bluewater store last year.
The 300-piece range, for newborn to 12-year-olds, will debut online on August 19 before launching into Uniqlo’s stores on August 23. The collection features mini-me versions of Uniqlo classics, such as down-filled jackets, skinny-fit coloured jeans and check shirts. Prices will range from £5.90 to £49.90.
Uniqlo Europe chief executive Berndt Hauptkorn said there was strong customer demand for the range. The back to school period would provide the perfect launch pad, he said, as “it’s the time of the year where people really think towards the coming season”.
The Bluewater trial gave the Tokyo design team better insight into the UK’s demands, and the range has been tweaked as a result, Hauptkorn said. For example, the UK range will have a higher proportion of pieces that are mini-me versions of the adult line, such as Oxford shirts and Heattech products.
Hauptkorn, who is also senior vice president and global officer of Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing, declined to reveal targets for the kidswear arm in the UK, but noted it was a “large part of the business” in Uniqlo’s more mature markets, such as Japan.