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From Shanghai to the World

Shanghai: UNIQLO flagship
 

UNIQLO flagship store opening on Shanghai’s Nanjing road.

What is it cultural point of reference? How will this change over time? For example most Japanese kids think McDonalds is a Japanese company because of its omnipresence in every neighbourhood and a deliberate lack of reference the US of A in advertising and in-store branding (although much of the world’s calorie-rich junk/fast-food has been globally popularised by American corporations – ).

Given the historic tension between Japan and China how does this affect brand positioning? With what country will Chinese consumers perceive UNIQLO when there is one on every high street in China? And is there a point when it is advantageous for UNIQLO to reference its historic Japanese roots?

And to flip it: at what point might UNIQLO Japan include stronger references to China and/or other cultures in which it operates?