Grand Opening of Uniqlo

Uniqlo, the Japanese retailer known for its basics, officially opened at The Bellevue Collection this morning with a bang. Literally. A tradition Taiko drumming performance rang through the mall just before 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the grand opening. A line of eager shoppers stretched from the South end of the mall to center court.

“We’re very proud to have Uniqlo be part of Bellevue Square,” said Kemper Freeman at the opening. “This is one of the greatest stores in the world today and this is their first flagship store in the Northwest.”

Located in the space pervious used by JCPenney, the new store is the first Uniqlo location Northwest of San Francisco. Neatly folded sweaters, flannel shirts and T’s in all the colors of the rainbow are stacked from floor to ceiling. Think Gap-classic meets Forever-21-price. They have clothes for men, women, children and baby.

“When I think of Uniqlo clothing, the words that come to my mind are innovation, elegance, timeless, family, quality. And those are the words I would use to describe the city of Bellevue,” said Bellevue City Councilmember Lynne Robinson. “This is a wonderful thing for our city. I’m very proud to welcome Uniqlo clothing to the city of Bellevue.”

Local fashion enthusiasts have been anticipating a Uniqlo in the area for years. But when news broke that Bellevue would get a Uniqlo before Seattle, Westsiders had mixed feelings. Many wanted the store to open in Seattle proper. It could be that Uniqlo will drive more Seattle shoppers to the Eastside.

On Nov. 5, Uniqlo hosted a VIP party at the new store with wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks Jermaine Kearse and singer Hollis Wong-Wear. Both are a part of Uniqlo’s Seattle People Campaign.

In the mood to shop? We recommend visiting Uniqlo if you’re in the market for flannel button downs, winter fleeces, puffy coats, wool coats, and sweaters. And if you know a youngster, the kids section is pretty adorable.

Uniqlo is a new brand for many Northwesters. Here are 10 things you might not know about the company.

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is the managing editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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