Saigon shopaholics up before daybreak for Uniqlo store opening

By Nguyen Quy, Hoang Huy   December 6, 2019 | 11:39 am GMT+7
Saigon shopaholics up before daybreak for Uniqlo store opening
Saigonese queue up for the first Uniqlo store to open, December 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Huy.

Young Saigonese began queuing up from 4 a.m. and waited until 9.30 a.m. Friday for the first Uniqlo store to open.

The youth lined up outside the Parkson Saigon Tourist Plaza on Dong Khoi Street, one of the busiest roads in Ho Chi Minh City. By 8 a.m. the queue had grown into a sizeable crowd. The 3,000 square meter store of Japanese casual wear retailer Uniqlo opened this morning at the shopping complex.

Hoang Vinh, a third-year student of the HCMC Open University, said he and his friends woke up at 3 a.m. and were standing outside the store since 4 a.m. in order to take advantage of opening day discounts.

"I was very happy and excited ever since Uniqlo announced it would open the first store in Saigon. I have waited for the day for so long," he said.

Le Thuy Linh, 22, drove nearly eight kilometers in the chilly weather from her house in District 11 to the Parkson Plaza to become one of the first customers visiting the store, one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. She reached the store at 7:30 a.m. and was surprised to see a long line of young people standing, carrying coats and umbrellas.

"The opening of the store coincides with the year-end shopping season to prepare for the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, and it would be a good opportunity to hunt for new clothes," Linh said.

A group of people stand in line to wait for the openng of the store at 9:30 a.m. on December 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Huy.

A group of people stand in line to wait for the openng of the store at 9:30 a.m. on December 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Huy.

Japanese billionaire Tadashi Yanai, founder of Fast Retailing, Uniqlo’s parent company, came to Ho Chi Minh City to attend the opening of the first Uniqlo store, confirming the importance of the Vietnamese market. "Vietnam is the most potential market and also the most important production base of the company," he said.

The facade of the Uniqlo store in District 1 . Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Huy.

The facade of the Uniqlo store in District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Huy.

The brand had 213 stores in the Southeast Asia as of last year and plans to have 400 by 2022. Globally, it now has over 2,200 stores in 24 countries and territories.

The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that Uniqlo's arrival will intensify competition between foreign brands like Zara and H&M in Vietnam.

According to German research firm Statista, Vietnam's fashion revenue will grow 22.5 percent a year in the 2017-2022 period, reaching $988 million yearly by 2022.

Vietnam’s revenue from the fashion segment amounted to $486 million in 2017 and $557 million in 2018. This year, it’s projected to reach $661 million.

 
 
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