Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo is opening a new store at Maebashi in Japan’s Prefecture Gunma this week, which will act as a prototype for other stores globally.
Men’s, women’s, kids’ and babies’ wear will be available on a sales floor of approximately 2,500 square metres.
A new concept with innovative design features, that are a first for the brand, was developed by Kashiwa Sato, chief director of the project and creative director and CEO of Samurai Inc., which strives to appeal to customers, while contributing to “the development of a prosperous society and realisation of a better world”, as explained in the press release.
As Uniqlo plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in stores and office locations by 90 percent by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, a number of energy-minimising elements were implemented in the store.
Nine features were used in partnership with Takenaka Corporation, a major general contractor in Japan. Elements include skylights and glass facades to make use of natural light in combination with artificial lighting, brightness and motion sensors, solar panels as well as eaves to control the energy consumption for lighting and air conditioning.
Additionally, inside temperatures are controlled through air curtains at the entrance and CO2 and temperature sensors.
To further save energy that would’ve been used on air conditioning, wall insulation was installed, containing 30 percent recycled garments donated by Uniqlo customers.
The Maebashi store is expected to use about 40 percent less electricity compared to conventional Uniqlo stores, while an estimated 15 percent of the total power consumption will be offset through the solar panels, according to a calculation by the brand itself.
The building will act as a “true lifestyle destination” and bring together five elements for the customer to enjoy, including a flower shop, a café, a green space, and a play area for children.
On top of that, the location will feature Japan’s first permanent Re.Uniqlo Studio, offering a reuse, recycle, repair and remake service for customers and the possibility to personalise garments.
Group executive officer Masahiro Endo said: “With the new Maebashi Minami IC Store, we have created a new type of Uniqlo, where customers can both shop for our clothing, as well as gather and connect with each other. Reducing our energy consumption was also at the front of mind when developing the store, and the various technical and design features utilised represent meaningful steps towards meeting our 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.”
The Uniqlo Maebashi Minami IC store opens this Friday.