STAMFORD, Conn. -- With Japanese taiko drummers booming from a floor below at the Stamford Town Center, shoppers streamed into a new business with Japanese roots.
UNIQLO, which began in 1984 when Fast Retailing opened its first store in Hiroshima, Japan, is now taking root in Connecticut. UNIQLO opened Friday evening in Stamford, the company’s second store in the state, joining the one in Trumbull.
Friends Johanna Tiarks, Alex Gatien, both from Stamford, and Eric Aniag from Ridgefield decided to check out the store after seeing advertisements for it at the Stamford train station.
They weren’t sure whether they would buy any clothes, but they said the business did appear to have good quality items.
“They have affordable clothing. They have a wide selection that is different from other clothing stores,” Gatien said.
That’s something the UNIQLO prides itself on, said a company representative.
“It’s the quality and innovation of our products at the price point we can give to our customer,” said Alessandra Antenucci, UNIQLO’s marketing manager.
“We believe we give you quality basics that you can introduce into your wardrobe and let you be who you are,” she said. “We allow you to express yourself with these basics in your own way.”
Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA, said Stamford and Connecticut is a natural growth area for the company, which has stores coast to coast.
“It is a great community with people who want original casual wear,” he said.
“Connecticut is an important market for us,” added Eileen McMaster, the company’s vice president of public relations.
In the level below the store, Taiko drummers from UConn-Stamford thrilled passing customers who stopped to record the drummers as they performed.
Since the opening of the first store in 1984, UNIQLO has grown to more than 1,350 stores in 14 countries throughout the world.
The company is growing its store numbers to 22 nationally. Stamford is one of that has opened or is slated to open this year to go along with the 17 others open in the U.S. as of March 31.