Vietnam one of Uniqlo’s top sources for products in Asia: general director

By Vien Thong   November 16, 2023 | 03:26 pm PT
Vietnam one of Uniqlo’s top sources for products in Asia: general director
Nishida Hideki, general director of Uniqlo Vietnam. Photo by Uniqlo Vietnam
Eighty factories and 240,000 workers make Uniqlo’s products in Vietnam, making the country one of its top manufacturers in Asia, general director of Uniqlo Vietnam has said.

In a recent statement Hideki Nishida said: "From our local partners’ factories, ‘Made in Vietnam’ products are distributed to over 2,400 stores worldwide, playing an important role in our global value chain."

Last year, more than 50% of products sold at Uniqlo stores in Vietnam were manufactured locally.

Fashion products made in Vietnam are also gradually increasing their global market share.

Data from investment firm Mirae Asset shows that in 2022 they held a market share of 18.3%, 15.6% and 31.1% in the U.S. Japan and Korea.

Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company, has outsourced manufacturing to Vietnam for more than 20 years, decades before the fashion retail giant opened its first store in the country, in HCMC, in 2019.

Some 240,000 workers are currently employed or involved, directly or indirectly, in their production process in Vietnam.

Uniqlo’s partners in Vietnam are all capable of producing many of its key products, such as the ultra light down product line, trademarked HEATTECH fiber technology, with the fluffy yarn fleece coats made entirely from recycled PET bottles with advanced manufacturing processes.

To aid its partners, Fast Retailing sends the Takumi team, a group of skilled artisans, to offer technical knowledge and support, ensuring all products meet global safety and quality standards.

Nishida did not reveal much about Uniqlo’s upcoming plans but said it is committed to expanding the share of local products in its Vietnamese stores.

Despite the gloomy economic outlook, Uniqlo managed to open seven new stores this year to take its total number to 22 in the country.

Nishida said his company’s business performance remains in line with Fast Retailing’s long-term development plans.

Fast Retailing’s net profit for the financial year ending August was up 8% at JPY296 billion (US$1.9 billion), thanks to record revenues of JPY2,770 billion (US$18.6 billion).

Nishida said: "The Southeast Asia market, notably Vietnam, shows remarkable growth potential. We are optimistic about the potential here."

Uniqlo has around 1,000 employees working in its retail operations in Vietnam.

Nishida promised to increase the rate of Vietnamese store managers, which is currently 70%, and also hire at least one disabled person in each store as part of the brand’s commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunity.

Uniqlo, which started life as a humble little store in Hiroshima in 1984, has now grown into the biggest clothing retailer in Asia and one of the four largest in the world.

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