Annual Report 2005
Year ended August 31, 2005
A message from the Chairman, President & CEO Our Group UNIQLO business Business model Products Production Stores People Overseas activities 6 11 14 14 16 18 20 22 23 CSR Corporate history Financial section Investor information Corporate information M&A strategy COMPTOIR DES COTONNIERS FOOT PARK Theory 24 25 26 27 28 30 32 54 55
It all started here
The origin of our “anybody, anywhere, everyday” concept
At UNIQLO, our goal is to offer casual wear that can be worn by anybody, anywhere, everyday. This basic concept has guided our actions since the birth of our very first store. When UNIQLO first opened its doors in a corner of a busy shopping district in central Hiroshima on June 2, 1984, it was six o’clock in the morning! The store opened early in the morning so that people could shop before going to work or school. To encourage people to drop in and browse around as they would in a bookshop or music store, we devised a store layout with the casual atmosphere of a warehouse. The second shop, launched in a suburban location, gained popularity as a casual-clothing shop that attracted people of all ages. This feature continues to be a mark of UNIQLO stores today.
Famous for fleece
exceed customer expectations. We subsequently applied this experience to the marketing of clothing made of other hit fabrics, for instance cashmere and our unique “Dry” summer fabric.
Innovation in casual wear earns us national recognition
In the early years, UNIQLO stores did not specialize in original clothing items. However, we believed that to offer customers truly excellent casual wear at astonishingly low prices, it was necessary to maintain close control over every aspect of the business, from product planning, the development and procurement of fabrics and clothing design all the way through to manufacturing, distribution and sales. Over the years, we have developed a system to accomplish exactly that. That effort paid off handsomely with explosive sales during the “fleece boom” that began in 1998 when UNIQLO took a new, lightweight and warm polyester fabric known only to a few people and made it available to everyone. Through this experience, UNIQLO learned the ins and outs of creating new demand by developing latent needs with product concepts that
Taking our show on the road
Making our first steps as a global retailer
The world of fashion knows no national boundaries. That’s why, from the very beginning, we set our sights on overseas markets and thought that someday we would operate on a global scale. That vision became a reality in September 2001, when we first ventured overseas with a store in London, England. A year later, we opened a store in Shanghai, China. These marked our acceptance of a new challenge—to expand the UNIQLO business around the world. In another development, in January 2004 the FAST RETAILING Group made steady progress in its globalization program by taking an equity stake in the owner of the U.S. contemporary apparel brand Theory.
A message from the Chairman, President & CEO Tadashi Yanai
Cutting a new pattern for greater growth
Those of you who have read my letters over the years know how I feel about growth, and I’ll say it again, “A company is as well as dead without growth.” Fiscal 2006 is to be the first year of a complete, top-to-bottom business structure transformation. We will rejuvenate our entrepreneurial spirit and continue to grow as a truly global company. We are committed to become the world’s No. 1 casual clothing retailer. To this end, we will not accept the status quo, but will be constantly thinking about how we can excel on the world stage as we transform the Company’s organization and system. 2006—A year of business structure transformation I regret to report that FAST RETAILING posted lower earnings on...