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GU, sister brand of Uniqlo, to open first U.S. store

GU will open a flagship in New York City's SoHo neighborhood in the fall.

The lower-priced and more trend-driven sister brand of Uniqlo is dropping anchor in New York City in what will be its first permanent store outside of Asia. 

GU, which is part of Japan’s Fast Retailing portfolio, will open a 10, 225-sq.-ft. flagship on Broadway in the SoHo neighorhood of downtown Manhattan in the fall. The brand has operated a small pop-up in SoHo since October 2022. It will close its doors this summer.

The new store will offer women’s and men’s clothing across two floors, as well as shoes, bags and accessories. In conjunction with the opening, GU will also launch an online store for the U.S. market. It will feaure the same product lineup as the physical flagship.

“For about a year and a half since opening our first pop-up store in the U.S. in the fall of 2022, we have been able to provide GU products to many customers, so we have great expectations for our business development in the U.S.,” stated Osamu Yunoki, CEO of GU. “We have applied what we learned from the pop-up store to establish a framework for product development and business operations at a global level, and we are extremely pleased to be officially opening a store in the United States this fall.”

GU (pronounced as the letters “G” and “U”) is close in sound to the Japanese word jiyu, which means freedom.  The brand was founded in 2006 as a sister brand of Uniqlo and currently operates approximately 470 stores in Asia, mainly in Japan. In September 2023, the company established a product division in New York to promote product development at a global level. 

Going forward, GU said it will strengthen local recruitment of designers, pattern makers, and other positions to establish the foundation of a product development base, aiming for further business expansion.

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