SBC101 case


1.    Timeline of UNIQLO


          Ogori Shōji was founded in Ube, Yamaguchi.


          Yanai took over the company changing the format to a unisex casual wear store in Hiroshima under the name Unique Clothing Warehouse.


          The registration of the brand UNIQLO was made.


          The company name was changed from Ogori Shōji to Fast Retailing.


          Over 100 UNIQLO stores operating in Japan.


          Adopted the SPA strategy from GAP.

          Begun outsourcing their clothes in China.

          Strong advertising campaigns.


          Change of logo

          Opened their first urban UNIQLO store in Tokyo´s Harajuku district.


          Sales and gross profit reached a peak.

          500 retail stores in Japan.


          Entered the Chinese market, opening its first outlet in Shanghai.

          Entered the UK, opening four outlets in London.


          16 shops were closed, including some in Manchester.

          2005, September

          Opened its first United States store in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

          New fashion designers joined the store´s team.

          Transferred the business related to clothing manufacturing and retailing to Sun Road Co.


          Changed logo to current one.

          Opened its flagship store in New York.


          Global sales of $10 billion and ranking in the top five global retailers.


          3,747 operating stores.

2.    Analyze the changes UNIQLO has had in its supply chain.

When the business mainly operated in China and Japan, most of Uniqlo’s partners were Chinese, which was acceptable. Uniqlo planned to grow its business into the US and Europe, so it adjusted its strategy since it knew it wouldn’t be effective there.

The SPA approach was developed by Uniqlo, who also used the responsive supply chain. The ability to quickly assess and respond to changes in the demand for the product or service defines a responsive supply chain.

A few years later, the corporation started outsourcing to cut costs. For instance, some of their jeans were $58, and others were under $24.

Their three key priorities were accelerating retail sales growth, reorganizing their supply chain, and keeping a high-quality product.

3.    What did Uniqlo apply for Inditex and H&M regarding the supply chain?

Uniqlo implemented a system similar to the one Zara uses to track what each store sells and the trends to have a database of which collections produce more. This system matched the customer demand more efficiently.

They also developed an advanced IT system to connect their supply and production factories to create a more efficient supply chain. This way, they improved their inventory management and could forecast with the POS data. Just like H&M

They also added a quality and efficiency control team. They had to check on every fabric three times a week; they had a broader quality control check.

Uniqlo created a 3 step process in which they made a detailed analysis of the quality and demand issues, corrected these with strict control these issues and had a comprehensive training program for future productions.

4.    Explain UNIQLO’s relationship with suppliers.

In recent years Uniqlo has developed relationships with suppliers worldwide because it has expanded globally.

The company has a Code of conduct that outlines its expectations for ethical and sustainable practices, so Uniqlo is strongly committed to working with suppliers collaboratively and transparently. Uniqlo also has a long-term investment partnership with its suppliers; for example, their textile supplier has been the same for over 20 years.

By developing strong relationships with its suppliers, Uniqlo can build trust and collaboration, leading to better products and more efficient supply chain operations.

In Conclusion, Uniqlo has a close relationship with its suppliers and works collaboratively to ensure ethical and sustainable business practices. The company’s vertically integrated business model allows it to maintain strict quality control, and its long-term partnerships with suppliers help to build trust and collaboration.

5.    Is UNIQLO´s today´s supply chain efficiency? Explain yes or why not.

Uniqlo has centered its strategy on retail sales growth, lowering costs, and maintaining quality.

They use an IT system to connect supply factories with headquarters to forecast processes and inventory.

Uniqlo has a team called Takumi, which consists of garment experts that assist their suppliers in maintaining quality, better coordinating the SC, and improving production processes. These teams visit suppliers’ factories twice or three times a week, much more often than their competitors.

The exigence of quality from the Takumi team was much higher than their competitors.

All their suppliers meet at a Table Meeting, discussing coordinating production scheduling or negotiating with material suppliers.

Integrating new suppliers has made Uniqlo adopt the “Just-in-time” supply methods inspired by automobile productions. The clothes sold all year were the only ones kept as inventories, while seasonal clothing inventory was not carried over or minimized using other techniques.

Third-party logistics are used for the inbound logistics, and their whole system’s inventory is uploaded daily. Uniqlo has also expanded its online supply chain.

We could then assure that Uniqlo has achieved a very efficient supply chain because they have evolved their supply chain with a “Kaizen” philosophy of improving each time. This has led them to become one of the world’s largest clothing brands, renowned f