Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., (FR) is continuing its push into Southeast Asia with its popular Uniqlo clothes stores, with plans to open 14 more stores in Malaysia by 2014. The move is actually a surprise, after the company originally intended to open just five new stores but changed its mind after seeing the chain’s popularity among Malaysians.

FR opened a flagship Uniqlo outlet store in Kuala Lumpur’s Fahrenheit 88 mall back in November 2010 and sales of its Japanese fashions saw it perform “above target”. The store is famous in Japan and around the world for stylish and high-quality clothing at affordable prices, and has expressed its ambition to open stores in every country in Asia. Singapore has five stores and Malaysia two, Thailand’s first set to open in September 2011. Should it succeed, and there’s no indication it won’t, the next step is a move into the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

There are 1,004 Uniqlo stores around the world, most of which are in Japan. Its 161 international locations are in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK, France, USA and Russia. FR is one of the world’s top four clothing retailers with 814 billion yen (US$9.93 billion) worth of sales at the end of FY2010.

source & article: Business Times