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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where's our Uniqlo?

Here's a question I've been pondering lately, especially after returning home from New York in September: Why doesn't San Francisco have a Uniqlo?

Here's my reasoning (beyond the fact that I love Uniqlo and don't want to have to get on a plane for my favorite skinny jeans, or have to beg New Yorker friends to buy pants for me):

- San Francisco is full of denim fanatics -- we have Self Edge in the Mission, and just digging around Yelp for a tailor, I found people talking up and down about finding good tailors for their fancy jeans. While, obviously, Uniqlo isn't the same as Self Edge (I'm sure there are people gasping and clutching their denim-covered pearls that I would even mention the two in the same sentence), it could be a good way for people to work their way up into Japanese-style denim. Plus, they'll hem your pants for you at Uniqlo, which means you don't have to go searching through Yelp for a tailor who will keep the original hem when they shorten your jeans. (I am not one of those people.)

- Right now, San Francisco's Japantown is having a boom period -- with the new New People World mall, which features fashion boutiques Baby The Stars Shine Bright and Black Peace Now, Japantown is more of a shopping draw than before. Of course, they don't need to put Uniqlo in Japantown; they could easily put it in the Union Square area along with H&M/Zara/Mango etc. And, frankly, Uniqlo's much more accessible, affordable, and wearable Japanese fashion than BTSSB or BPN.

- Technically, when you get down to it? San Francisco is closer to Japan than New York is. They wouldn't have to ship things as far. Basic logistics, yo.

- San Francisco does have a lot of retail real estate open, along with people who need jobs. I would die of joy if we had a big giant Uniqlo in the Virgin Records building... but I'd die of joy no matter where it would be in the city.

- We had to wait forever for H&M to come to SF, so why not get Uniqlo sooner? We've been very patient with the rollouts. So come on. It's our turn.

In the meantime, Uniqlo's got an online store for their HEATTECH products, so you can buy camisoles, 3/4 length tops, turtlenecks, and leggings online, then check out through PayPal. Fair warning, they charge in yen and the exchange rate is pretty lousy. Alas.

Other than that, all I can do is look at the Uniqlo explorer and shake my fist that I don't live in New York... while my wallet breathes a sigh of relief that I don't live in New York. Or that Uniqlo doesn't have a full online store.

Seriously, though -- where's our Uniqlo? Are there any stores that you wish were in your town? I know that if there were a Sephora in my college town, my years there would have been very different...

1 comment:

Sean said...

ahhh fellow denim nerrrrd! self edge is great. i'm friends with kati, and just decided to check out the blog. dig this post.. the world needs quality denim. whether its $300 jawnz from The Flat Head, or perfectly fitting, APCs or what have you. And finally, its definitely agreed that SF, or (better for me) Portland, needs a Uniqlo. dig dig dig

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