Uniqlo sees KAWS collab frenzy, reports lower monthly sales on clearance delay
Uniqlo had plenty of news from both Japan and China on Tuesday with its regular monthly sales report for the former and the debut of its latest KAWS collection in the latter.
The collab collection with the American graffiti artist generated scenes of pandemonium in some stores as shoppers fought to get their hands on the new T-shirt offer.
The hashtag “Everybody KAWS” also garnered 140 million views on Weibo by late Monday.
Videos on social media showed shoppers battling to get into the stores, tearing T-shirts from the mangled remains of store mannequins and arguing over individual pieces, with long queues to pay for their purchases.
The frenzy was generated as e-rumours spread that this would be the very last KAWS collab with Uniqlo and that the retailer won’t be adding new stock when the first run is sold out.
The tees, retailing for around $15, were later advertised via online resale sites at up to $90.
KAWS has been working on Uniqlo collabs since 2016 and this latest one will also launch in the US on Tuesday and Europe on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Uniqlo said that its Japanese like-for-like sales in May, including online turnover, fell 1.8% year on year while total sales fell a slightly better 1.7%.
That wasn’t quite the bad news it seems as the company’s summer offer sold well on the back of “consistently high temperatures”. In fact the sales fall, was caused by the postponement of the company’s clearance sale, which we have to assume is good news as it suggests the retailer believes it can continue to sell items at full price for a little longer than usual.
Although customer traffic this May was consistent with a year ago, the average purchase per customer fell slightly, perhaps influenced by the lack of markdowns due to that clearance delay.
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