Into the Middle Kingdom: A Case Study of Uniqlo's Success in China
Business in China has been a global topic of intrigue for many years, and still is to this day, especially as the country quickly reaches the position of largest economy in the world. With opportunity on the horizon, the answer to the question of success as a foreign company in China remains ambiguous. The purpose of this case study is to investigate the reasoning behind the Japanese clothing brand, Uniqlo’s, success in the Chinese market. This company currently holds the largest market share of any fast-fashion apparel brand in China and continues to grow in market share year after year. The case study aims to answer the question of what contemporary success in the Chinese market looks like for a foreign apparel brand and may apply to other business types. The structure of this thesis is first reviewing the important histories needed to understand the challenges Uniqlo faces in the Chinese market, followed by an in-depth investigation of some of their most successful business strategies in China specifically. Upon further analysis, the case study shows a central aim toward the rising middle class of China and younger generation of China in many of the company’s most successful strategies fulfilled in the country. This paper concludes that Uniqlo’s success in China, is attributed to factors such as the increasing power of the middle class, increasing urbanization, consumption trends, digitalization, and successful socio-political approaches.