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UNIQLO acquires 35% of local brand Elise

Released at: 15:18, 29/10/2018

UNIQLO acquires 35% of local brand Elise

SM MOA store in the Phillipines (Photo: UNIQLO)

Japanese retailer picks up holding in women's apparel brand.

by Minh Do

Japan’s UNIQLO has acquired a 35 per cent stake in the Hanoi-based women’s apparel brand Elise, according to information shared at a recent conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 25 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The deal has been finalized, with Elise getting tens of millions of dollars in the deal, though the exact figure has not been disclosed. It is believed to be much higher than its entire charter capital.

A number of international brands have entered Vietnam since the country opened up its retail market to foreign investment in 2015. The fashion market is estimated to grow to more than $3.8 billion this year and to over $5 billion by 2021, according to BMI Research.

In September, the Japanese-based Fast Retailing, which owns the UNIQLO brand, earlier announced plans to open a store in Ho Chi Minh City next year. Elise has more than 100 stores around the country.

The store will be operated through a joint venture between Fast Retailing and the Mitsubishi Corporation, which will own 75 per cent and 25 per cent of the company. “Vietnam will be the fourth country in which Fast Retailing and Mitsubishi have established a joint venture company, following Thailand in 2011, Indonesia in 2013, and Russia in 2017,” a representative from UNIQLO told VET. “The partnership has been successful.”

In talking about the location for its first store in Ho Chi Minh City, he said that as with all UNIQLO stores around the world, the main objective will be to open outlets that provide the very best UNIQLO experience for its customers. This means choosing convenient locations while also securing a store layout that enables customers to browse and shop for its LifeWear collections in comfort.

The brand is also recruiting a number of positions in Vietnam and will launch the UNIQLO Manager Candidate (UMC) program, which aims to cultivate future business leaders for UNIQLO and to help candidates achieve professional growth through a specially-designed training program.

“This is the first time that we will conduct the UMC program in Vietnam,” the representative said. “The final number of candidates has not yet been decided, but we are excited at the opportunity to meet as many talented young Vietnamese people as possible.”

UNIQLO plans to double the number of its outlets in Southeast Asia and Oceania to around 400 by 2022. Its global network spans 20 markets in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia, with around 2,000 stores.

It aims to triple its revenue in Southeast Asia to 300 billion yen ($2.67 billion) by the year ending in August 2022. On August 24, Uniqlo launched a store in Sweden, the home of H&M. As at the end of May, the UNIQLO business had grown to 39 stores in Thailand, 18 in Indonesia, and 29 in Russia.

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