Uniqlo's Casual Gambit

Only a company whose customers line up along Tokyo blocks clamoring for cheap casual chic would be comfortable predicting being "bigger than Gap." But Tadashi Yanai, CEO of parent company Fast Retailing, expects Uniqlo to reach $10 billion in sales by 2010, with 10% coming from the U.S. The haberdasher's son is introducing neighborhood concept stores--stocked with basics made with colorful Egyptian cotton and Mongolian cashmere--to three high-volume New Jersey malls, to add to Uniqlo's roughly 700 stores in Asia and Britain. Yanai talks big, but expansion failures in the London area in 2003 cut revenue 25% and the stock 80%....

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