The Real Reason Uniqlo Products Are So Cheap

UNIQLO is a global brand that is headquartered in Japan (via Harvard Business School Digital Initiative). It feels as if there was a time when none of us had heard of thisĀ clothing brand that specializes in selling low-cost yet high-quality everyday wear. And then suddenly, UNIQLO stores and their labelless clothing simultaneously appeared overnight, bringing in herds of devoted followers.

Okay, maybe it wasn't overnight, but their giant presence in the world of fashion crept up on us. The clothing apparel company was originally founded in 1949 as a textiles manufacturer in Yamaguchi, Japan. Fast forward seven decades later and they now have over 1000 stores worldwide (via Uniqlo). We mentioned low-cost and high-quality. Two adjectives that don't normally pair together. Just how is this brand able to sell its products so cheap?

Firstly, UNIQLO is able to order high-quality materials at low cost because they order in large volumes (via Harvard Business School Digital Initiative).

Uniqlo stands out by not making disposable clothing

In addition, the brand directly negotiates with manufacturers, does not own any factories, and is able to find the best deals by not being tied down to any specific one for a long period of time (via Harvard Business School Digital Initiative).

It is easy to lump Uniqlo in the same category as the Gap, H&M, and Zara. Perhaps because their clothes are similarly priced, though Uniqlo fashion focuses on being affordable without being disposable. The brand is hoping to appeal to the consumer who isn't obsessed with labels or trends (via The Atlantic).

Along with focusing on making quality articles of clothing and avoiding the trends, Uniqlo aims for a wider target market than most other clothing stores. The company's aim is to keep their clothing accessible to all ages and all demographic backgrounds. This is another reason why they purposely keep their prices so low (via Retviews).

It sounds to us like Uniqlo's ability to easily change manufacturers, order high-volume amounts, and the brand's goal to keep their clothes available to various demographics are key reasons why their products are so inexpensive. This sounds like a well-thought-out business model for keeping costs low. Though, admittedly, it may not be your dream store if you're attracted to sequins, glitter, and trends.