【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. apparel / əˈpær əl / (n.) – another term for clothing
Example: The company sells high-quality apparel.
2. classic / ˈklæs ɪk / (adj.) – referring to something with a simple design
Example: She wore a classic black dress.
3. comfortable / ˈkʌmf tə bəl / (adj.) – causing a pleasant feeling
Example: She bought a pair of comfortable shoes.
4. brand / brænd / (n.) – a group of products with the same name and made by one company
Example: You can find various clothing brands in the department store.
5. retail / ˈri teɪl / (adj.) – pertaining to the business of directly selling products to people
Example: She got the dress lower than its retail price.
Read the text below.
Uniqlo plans to take over the US market by targeting its male shoppers.
Unlike many apparel retailers that prioritize women, former chief merchandising officer Steven Sare said that Uniqlo considers men as its primary market. Sare also mentioned that fifty percent of Uniqlo’s customers are men. While Uniqlo’s more frequent shoppers are women, men are the ones who spend more money when shopping.
According to an article from Business Insider, there are several reasons why men love Uniqlo’s clothes. One reason is that Uniqlo offers classic and basic designs in a variety of colors. Another reason is the brand’s quality work wear that can keep men cool and comfortable in any weather.
Uniqlo also sells its clothes at affordable prices, which are appealing to men who are more interested in practicality than fashion. According to the New York Magazine, the brand can offer products at low prices because its limited clothing collection uses mostly the same type of fabric. Uniqlo can then bargain for lower fabric prices if it buys the fabric in large quantities.
Uniqlo has around 1,500 stores all over the globe, 39 of which are in the United States. With its plan of taking over the US market, the company expects to have a thousand stores in the country.
After Zara, H&M, and Gap, Uniqlo is the fourth largest fashion retailer in the world. Founder Tadashi Yanai aims to make Uniqlo the world’s biggest retailer by 2020. The retail company has a US$50-60 billion revenue and an operating profit of $10-12 billion.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you agree that focusing on male shoppers will help Uniqlo take over the US market? Why or why not?
· How else do you think Uniqlo can persuade Americans to patronize its products?
· Why do you think most clothing companies are more focused on women?
· What do you think makes a successful clothing company?