Sunday, October 07, 2012

Shopping in the City - Uniqlo is now open

Uniqlo - West Coast flagshipAre you ready for this, Uniqlo-philes in San Francisco? Our wait is over because the mothership has landed! I don't mean the Uniqlo pop-up store on Post St.  I am talking about the first West Coast Uniqlo. This new addition to their global store network opened on Powell St. on Friday at 10 a.m.  Lots of people showed up. It was like Friday after Thanksgiving all over again.

There was a long line on Powell St. that snaked around the corner on Ellis St.  Mijo got there earlier than I did. He was already in queue when I got there a little after 4 p.m. I didn't think there were this many Uniqlo fans in the city!

Uniqlo - Powell StI took a shot of this scene so that I can show you how dense it was in front of the store on Powell St. I thought their pop up store on Post St. has a more elegant facade but I guess Powell St. provides more foot traffic. Uniqlo - Queue on Ellis StThe queue was long but orderly so kudos to the Uniqlo staff in charge of the line. They were also friendly and courteous to the would-be shoppers and the on lookers. While Mijo and I waited in line, I overheard lots of stories from groups of people infront and behind us about how they came across the Uniqlo brand for the first time.

[read about my Uniqlo pop-up store blog]

Uniqlo - Men's SectionJust like Uniqlo's clothing designs, the store is moderm, hip, urban, fun with a touch of sophistication. The ground floor was packed. I could see the Men's clothes on the left wall side of the store and the Women's clothing on the right side and the back and the middle. I like that there are lots of natural lighting which reaches all the way to the Men's section in the basement. I didn't checkout the 2nd floor so I don't know if they have the Kid's section with the extension of the Women's section upstairs. Uniqlo - Magic MirrorWhile trying on a bomber vest, I noticed this mirror that says Magic Mirror. I asked a staff why is that so and she told me that the mirror can switch the color of the clothes on the reflected image thus minimizing the need to try on another color. As expected, the lines to the fitting room was very long so I didn't bother trying on some jeans. I did enjoy their accessories section and discovered a few items I didn't know I needed. Of course, my favorites are their jackets and hoodies, especially now that the mornings and evenings are getting cooler.

Uniqlo - Made for AllI picked up this free Uniqlo brochure slash look book. It also features four New Yorkers and four local San Francisco personalities wearing the Uniqlo brand including former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Joe Montana.Uniqlo - Shopper  A shopper, let's hide him by the name of Mijo, was spotted carrying two Uniqlo shopping bags. These limited edition tote bags were given away during the store opening with a purchase of over $50.00. It lists the cities of the Uniqlo global store network which now include San Francisco! Uniqlo - Free Tote BagCan you spot Manila? Now that the main store on Powell St. has started operations, I wonder if their pop-up store on Post St. has closed down?

In a nutshell, Uniqlo is a great addition to the overall shopping experience in the city not only because of the brand's urban and sophisticated design but also the brand's excellent customer service.

Congratulations, Uniqlo! I'll be back at the store soon.


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