Exclusive Details on Uniqlo’s First Two Confirmed SoCal Locations!

Uniqlo grand opening festivities

Uniqlo grand opening festivities

We’re not sure which moves faster: fast fashion or news about fast fashion!

The buzz that Uniqlo would be opening its first Southern California store at South Coast Plaza has been reaching a fever pitch this week with news outlets furiously vyying to confirm the rumors.  Finally today, both the luxury shopping center and Uniqlo officially confirmed that the retailer has, indeed, inked a deal to house the brand’s first Southern California location this fall. Uniqlo also confirmed in today’s issue of WWD, that they would be opening up an L.A. location at Beverly Center.

While we can’t lay claim to being the first to report the rumor that the Japanese specialty retailer was landing at South Coast Plaza (Congrats to our friends at RackedLA!), we can say that Fashion Trends Daily is the first to report on exclusive, fresh details on the two openings — including which store will be the flagship location. Today, we spoke with executives at both South Coast Plaza and Beverly Center to get more exciting details on the buzz-making deal.

“We’ve been wanting to bring Uniqlo to South Coast Plaza for some time now,” said Debra Gunn Downing, Executive Director of Marketing for South Coast Plaza. “Our customers really embrace pairing fast-fashion with luxury brands.”



While South Coast Plaza would not confirm the exact location at this time, our sources tell us that a likely location is the former home of the now-shuttered Rainforest Café, located on the first level of the Sears Wing. At roughly 16,000 square feet, this is about the only logical spot that would have enough square footage to house the fast-fashion retailer’s large retail footprint. Note: The brand’s Fifth Avenue flagship store comes in at a massive 89,000 square feet, making it the largest Uniqlo in the world.

While neither Southern California store will match the Fifth Avenue location in size, Beverly Center General Manager Ralph Barnes confirmed to Fashion Trends Daily today that the Beverly Center store will be a flagship location for Uniqlo at 30,000 square feet. And, in order to accommodate that, the shopping center will be shuttering its food court. (We can’t say that we’ll exactly be crying over the loss of the likes of Panda Express et al.)

Uniqlo NYC

Uniqlo NYC

“In order to support the Uniqlo project, we’re having to reconfigure a substantial portion of the eighth floor which includes part of the food court,” said Barnes. “At some point, the food court will close entirely to support the new store. We’re also going to be evolving the eighth floor and preparing it for a new dining concept as well.”

While both shopping centers will not offer a specific date in fall, we can tell you that the new stores will carry men, women and kids as well as the Supima cotton line and its popular basics such as denim and the UT T-shirt collection.

“We are very excited to be opening at South Coast Plaza this fall and thrilled to introduce our brand to yet another group of future fans at this iconic retail destination,” said Larry Meyer, CEO of UNIQLO USA and Fast Retailing Group Senior Vice President.

Now, let the countdown begin.

Images courtesy Uniqlo

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Author:Michelle Dalton Tyree

Fashion Trends Daily is the brainchild of Michelle Dalton Tyree. She is the former West Coast Retail Editor for Women’s Wear Daily, Fashion Editor for The Japan Times, and founder of former L.A. luxury boutique Iconology. Michelle is frequently quoted about fashion retail trends in major media outlets such as NPR, KPCC, The Inside Source and the New York Times. She has developed content for many luxury brands and retailers and has written for Allure, Worth Global Style Network, Footwear News and other media outlets.