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Uniqlo India CEO Tomohiko Sei, left, and Founder and Chairman Tadashi Yanai pose at a press event ahead of the opening of brand's first store in India. (Photo by Rie Ishii)
Company in focus

Uniqlo dreams big as it enters India, its 'new China'

But Japanese fashion giant must go head-to-head with Zara and H&M

KIRAN SHARMA and AKANE OKUTSU, Nikkei staff writers | India

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."

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