While I was in Tokyo today I decided to drop in to Uniqlo’s UT store. I took some photos but with my mobile phone so don’t complain about the resolution. As you will see it is a pretty cool place and at the moment they are having a Sunday magazine 50th Anniversary tie in promotion. Hence the manga images on the front windows, the floors and of course on dozens of t-shirts.
For those who don’t know Uniqlo, it is a Japanese discount store that became extremely popular selling good quality but bland clothes cheaply after the economic bubble burst. Last year Uniqlo’s parent company made an unsuccessful bid for Barney’s in the US. UT is a relatively new project for Uniqlo and in my opinion is an attempt by Uniqlo to persuade the consumers to that it can be cool too as the brand was suffering. In fact we overheard someone in the store say that “it’s nice but it’s Uniqlo, so everybody will be wearing it”.
The store is just like you might imagine a Japanese store to be (with more space). It is very space age with the t-shirts stored in plastic tubes on racks lining the walls. Very futuristic. While you can see some other apparel it is 90% t-shirts and they have a great variety too.
The t-shirts in UT are reasonably priced at about 1500 yen and are available in regular Uniqlo stores too. I’m pretty sure you can also purchase them online. The advantage of going to the store though is that you can touch them and suss out their quality which I think is pretty good for a discount t-shirt shop.
Along with many exclusive and original designs UT sell many licenced t-shirts, from Japanese manga and American comic book characters such as Supergirl to images by famed photographer Robert Capa. And don’t think of shoplifting as Batman is the security guard.