NEW DELHI/TOKYO -- On the morning of Oct. 4, several hundred people waited patiently outside Uniqlo's sleek new 35,000-sq.-foot mega store in a popular New Delhi mall. When the doors opened, customers were greeted with a traditional Japanese drum ceremony and the first 500 got a free T-shirt and a 200 rupee ($2.80) discount on their first purchase if they downloaded the company's app.
T-shirts were a particularly hot item for the Japanese fast-fashion brand that day. Sehaj, a 20-year-old college student, bought eight. "I like the design and graphics," he said. Swedish retailer H&M offers similar shirts at better prices, he added, "but the quality at Uniqlo is better."