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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: A man carries a shopping bag in a Uniqlo store in Manhattan on February 13, 2013 in New York City. Uniqlo will be opening its first Southern California stores this fall.
Japanese retailer Uniqlo will open stores in Southern California malls for the first time this fall.
The new locations will be in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and the Beverly Center in L.A., both malls confirmed to KPCC on Thursday.
Uniqlo is known for its affordable, stylish clothes. Short sleeve t-shirts, for example, are listed on the company's website with a pricetag of about $13. The retailer opened in 1984 and is operated by Japanese company Fast Retailing and has grown to more than 1,300 stores worldwide in 14 markets.
Uniqlo said its global sales were roughly $11.6 billion for its 2013 fiscal year ending Aug. 31 and says its parent company, Fast Retailing, is the world's fourth largest retail apparel company.
"Uniqlo is a globally recognized fashion brand that will resonate well with our shoppers both locally and from around the world," said Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing for South Coast Plaza.
At the helm of Uniqlo’s U.S. expansion is Larry Meyer, CEO of Uniqlo USA. Meyer was unavailable for an interview with KPCC, but said in a press release that Uniqlo is thrilled to introduce future fans to the brand.
Before joining Uniqlo, Meyer was chief financial officer at L.A.-based Forever 21. He played a key role in the retailer’s U.S. expansion. That will help Uniqlo, said Gabriella Santaniello, managing director of retail market research for Wedbush Securities.
“He comes to Uniqlo with experience looking at real estate [and] markets where they would see the best results,” Santaniello said.
Besides Southern California, Santaniello thinks Uniqlo may consider expanding to other major metropolitan areas like Chicago or Atlanta.
Other international brands who have moved to Southern California include British fashion icon Topshop and Muji, a Japanese home furnishing and clothing store. More than 10,000 people attended Topshop's opening at The Grove in L.A.
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This story has been updated.