A look inside the Japanese retailers second recently opened, technology-equipped, futuristic location.
Japanese clothing retailer UNIQLO has opened their new store at 31 West 34th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, following the October 14th opening of the new flagship location on Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street. The brand, which is a subsidiary of Japanese retail holding company Fast Retailing Co. (FR), is committed to its philosophy “Made For All.” The two new locations join the first U.S. store, located in SoHo, which opened in 2006. The Fifth Avenue store is the brand’s largest location; the 34th Street store is the second largest.
The new store, which was designed by Masamichi Katayama of Japanese design firm Wonderwall, maintains an image consistent with its other locations, while containing a few novel features. The most eye-catching of these additions are the flying mannequins that soar between the three floors; the 34th Street store is the first in the U.S. to employ this technology. The 64,000 sq ft space also boasts a combination of 147 LED and LCD screens displaying brand content around the store.
Chief Executive Officer of UNIQLO USA, Shin Odake, described the store as “futuristic” with its minimal design and organized layout. The sleek stainless steel cash registers certainly fit this futuristic image, as do the color-changing stairs. In a further embrace of technology in the retail experience, employees are equipped with hand held inventory checking devices.
The 34th Street store features UNIQLO’s complete product offering, with the Jil Sander collaboration, +J, displayed in a store-within-store on the second floor. Customers will find the UNIQLO Innovation Project on the first floor. This collection is focused on functionality, with informative icons marking water repellency and heat retention, among others. Another draw for the 34th Street store is the $9.90 denim collection, only offered at this location and the Fifth Avenue store.