Went to the Fast Retailing Group HQ at Roppongi, part of the module in the Strategy class. Ken Kusunoki, the Strategy faculty, brought us toFast Retailing because it’s one of the largest retail groups now, aggressively expanding all over the world. That, or because he’s also the advisor to the CEO, Yanai-san. We were told to dress in Uniqlo, if possible.
Before the field trip we had a case study and later, discussion on different fast fashion groups, including Fast Retailing, Hennes & Mauritz and Inditex. Long story short, there are reasons why some brands are on top and to enter this cutthroat industry, you have to be targeting a different market, offering different things.
So at Fast Retailing HQ we were introduced to the beginnings of its first brand Uniqlo (it was formerly a casual wear store that I wouldn’t have noticed but look at it now!), its strong leadership by Tadashi Yanai, but even more emphasis was placed on Uniqlo’s global efforts in social responsibility.
So my takeaway was… Uniqlo’s imploding success and expansion within the pass decade has a lot to do with good strategy that differentiates them and other players in the industry, as well as a leader who’s focused and knows how to learn from the company’s previous mistakes.