Tuesday, April 3, 2012

UNIQLO Launches Recovery Project in Japan


To support the government and private efforts to fasten the recovery of the many areas in Japn that was struck by the killer quake last year, UNIQLO announces the launch of its next phase of assistance to the revitalization of communities in the Tohoku Region that were most affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck on March 11, 2011. Under this project, known as the UNIQLO Recovery Assistance Project, the company will partner with five NGOs for three years and open new stores in the hardest-hit communities.

Fast Retailing Group companies led by UNIQLO have been actively working with affected local communities since soon after the disaster struck, donating funds and relief supplies, as well as sending volunteer staff to distribute clothes to people in need. Working directly with these communities over the last year has given UNIQLO a clear understanding of their immediate needs and hopes for the future. The UNIQLO Recovery Assistance Project was shaped by this experience. Through this project, UNIQLO aims to provide long-term support to communities in need and make a contribution to revitalizing Japan.

UNIQLO will work with five NGOs to support programs in devastated communities in prefectures such as Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima. The focus of these programs is to help these communities rebuild, create employment and become independent of aid. With this in mind, UNIQLO will open temporary stores in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture and Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture --- two of the hardest-hit communities. UNIQLO will also reopen a store in the Haramachi district of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture which was temporarily closed following the March 11 disaster.

UNIQLO is committed to contributing a total of 300 million yen (around 3.7 million USD) to NGOs working on the ground to help devastated communities rebuild and become self-sufficient. Each of UNIQLO’s five NGO partners will receive around 20 million yen a year for three years. A portion of sales at all UNIQLO stores in Japan in March 2012 will be donated to this Project. UNIQLO is also offering customers the opportunity to directly participate by launching a three-month donation drive at all UNIQLO stores in Japan, starting March 1. In addition, UNIQLO and the Fast Retailing Group are planning to offer employees opportunities to work as volunteers at partner NGOs.

UNIQLO’s partner organizations are JEN; ADRA Japan(Adventist Development and Relief Agency Japan); ・    Specified Non-Profit Organization International Volunteer Center of YAMAGATA; PlaNet Finance Japan and Tohoku Relationship Capitals

While visiting disaster areas to distribute clothes, UNIQLO volunteers were often told by local people that they looked forward to the day when UNIQLO returned to open a store in their neighborhoods. Now, UNIQLO is pleased to be able to open temporary stores in some of the hardest hit communities. Through these stores, UNIQLO will offer local people a specially selected lineup of great, affordable clothes, as well as new employment opportunities. UNIQLO are honored to welcome customers to these stores: UNIQLO Kesennuma Store; Kamaishi Store and Haramachi Store.

UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co. (FR), a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under five brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, g.u., Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of 820 billion yen for the 2011 fiscal year ending August 31, 2011, FR is the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.

Today UNIQLO has more than 1,000 stores worldwide, namely in the U.S., U.K. France, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Korea, as well as Japan. UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world's most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. UNIQLO operates an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel in line with its ‘Made for All’ philosophy.

With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, FR is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and other FR brands, please visit www.uniqlo.com or www.fastretailing.com.

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