Japanese Uniqlo is planning to install vending machines in American airports and shopping centres. People can use these to buy the famous thin jacket, but also the “heat-retaining” shirt.
New American strategy
Over the next two months, the group will install dozens of vending machines in cities like New York, Houston and Oakland. Whatever one buys at one of these booths, they can be returned at any Uniqlo store. The company is simply looking for new ways to reach the American consumer, because the Japanese brand continues to struggle in the United States - hence the focus on temporary locations, like pop-ups and vending machines.
“We're trying to understand where we can be more successful without making a big commitment”, Uniqlo's US marketing chief, Marisol Tamaro said. When the brand first surfaced in the United States, it wanted to open 200 stores by 2020, but that ambitious plan was scaled back when preliminary results proved to be underwhelming.
Uniqlo is not the first company to put vending machines in airports: Best Buy and even Nespresso have vending machines at airports, filled with a few popular items.