UNIQLO, Japan’s global fashion label, will open an online store for the Thai market next Friday, in a move that will complement its physical stores by offering unlimited items, nationwide coverage and around-the-clock access to consumers.
Chanvit Khieonavavongsa, marketing and public relations director and head of ecommerce at UNIQLO Thailand, said the ecommerce channel is a means of answering the demand for broader coverage, since the firm has consistently received queries from consumers who do not live in those areas where it has branches
Entering the Thai market nearly five years ago, UNIQLO currently has 32 physical branches in nine provinces, covering around one-third of the population.
Chanvit said the online channel would not, however, decelerate UNIQLO’s expansion of its physical outlets in the Kingdom.
The Thai online store is the Japanese fashion label’s 12th worldwide, following similar stores launched in Singapore in 2014 and in Malaysia last year.
UNIQLO has assigned Singapore Post to handle logistics and delivery for orders placed via the Thai online store, with guaranteed nationwide delivery of between one and three days. The company charges no delivery fee, while the packaging charge is waived for orders of above 1,500 THB.
Thailand’s Internet penetration rate is expected to reach 56% this year, or 36 million people, growing over 20% from last year, while about 42% of Internet users have experienced buying online.
The estimated value of the Thai ecommerce market last year was 1.2 trillion THB, up 3.65% from the 2014 level. Beauty and fashion together accounted for 42.6% of all online transactions. Chanvit said UNIQLO sales in Thailand so far this year were still in line with its target.
A version of this appeared in The Nation on July 23. Read the full version here.