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In an interview with WWD which was published yesterday, 63 year-old Fast Retailing CEO Tadashi Yanai let loose that he may not retire anytime soon. Fast Retailing's rapid expansion of Uniqlo and acquisition of J Brand has brought so much growth and attention, and with that, fresh execs who Tadashi hints aren't quite ready for the helm of responsibility.
Included in the conversation about the company's (safe) expansion plans and Tadashi's decision to not retire anytime soon was Uniqlo USA CEO, Nobuo Domae who started with Fast Retailing in Chief Information Officer 1998 and quickly worked his way up the ranks to take on New York in 2005 for a 2006 opening in SoHo. Now, he's in charge of 5 US stores and lets loose on the brand's reserved expansion plans in the near future...
"As a group, our focus is on Asia and China, but the U.S. is a huge potential for us, so we need to focus on opening more stores over there, especially on the West Coast and East Coast," Domae said. "Rather than going into other countries or into Chicago, we're very much focused on the West Coast and East Coast."
This news will only continue to urge speculation on the topics of when and where in Chicago Uniqlo will open. Has Fast Retailing already secured space in Chicago but are waiting until the brand reaches a level of recognition with Midwesterners to that of Gap or American Apparel--Much less Zara? Is Nobuo Domae underestimating the intelligence of the Midwestern shopper? Is Tadashi Yanai underestimating the capabilities of Nobuo Domae? Have input? Let us know in the comments.
· All Uniqlo Coverage [Racked]
· Uniqlo Will Avoid Middle America, Los Angeles For Now [Racked]
· Tadashi Yanai's Succession Quandary [WWD]