Japan's Uniqlo prepares for U.S. launch

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[New York] Preparing for a U.S. entry this fall, Japanese casual-clothing retailer Uniqlo has awarded marketing, public relations and advertising duties to Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide and Magnet, New York. Uniqlo, owned by Japan's Fast Retailing, was founded in 1984 and operates over 600 stores in Japan, and a handful in the U.K. and in China and sells inexpensive, stylish basics much like the Gap and Old Navy. In contrast to those retailers, however, Uniqlo (a Japanese version of "unique clothes") eschews plastering its logos on its duds: The company's chairman, Tadashi Yanai, is found of saying that "if the clothes shout louder than the person, the person cannot be heard." Uniqlo entered the U.K. in 2001 and opened about 20 stores but has closed most of them, although the remaining six are doing well. In the U.S., the fall launch is planned for the New York area. Euro RSCG New York CEO David Jones said the undisclosed spending "will be big and proper." In addition to advertising and public relations, Euro's retail unit 4D will handle in-store retailing for Uniqlo in the U.S. and U.K. Media duties have not been determined in the U.S.
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