The Japanese fast fashion giant was Korea’s undisputed mass market leader in the aughts, but local competitors like TopTen10 are closing the gap, The Korea Times reports.
While Uniqlo’s sales in Korea — its third-largest market after Japan and China — nearly tripled TopTen10′s in 2019, the latter’s revenue now lags only 30 percent. Uniqlo’s Korea sales have declined, while TopTen10′s in the first quarter of 2021 doubled last year’s figures.
During the pandemic, TopTen10 and fellow homegrown brand Spao were among brands who turned to discounting to get by, cutting prices by as much as 30 percent, while Uniqlo prices stayed constant. But ongoing trade and political tensions between Korea and Japan, resulting in calls to boycott Japanese firms in 2019, have also had an impact on Uniqlo’s sales. At one point, TopTen10 even used the slogan “We will not let you wear Japanese underwear” in its ads.