Uniqlo wants to use TikTok to boost sales in underperforming markets

The Japanese clothing brand has seen revenue and profit decline at home.

Photo:Shutterstock.com

Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo and short video app TikTok kicked off a marketing campaign on Tuesday in the United States, France, Japan, and China’s Taiwan region, according to a press release shared by TikTok.

Under this campaign, which lasts until July 11, TikTok users in these regions can upload videos of themselves wearing Uniqlo’s UT-branded T-shirts for a chance of their clips being shown in Uniqlo’s stores around the world.

This cooperation comes as TikTok speeds up monetization to help its owner, Beijing-based app factory ByteDance, achieve its ambitious annual revenue target of RMB 100 billion (USD 14.8 billion) in 2019.

This also comes as the Japanese company struggles to meet its medium-term vision of becoming “the world’s number one apparel retailer,” which is a phrase used by the company in its latest financial report.

Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing booked JPY 1.27 trillion (USD 11.85 billion) in revenue between September 1, 2018, and February 28 this year, up 6.8% year-on-year. It made JPY 172.9 billion (USD 1.6 billion) in operational profit, representing a 1.4% annual increase.

The report also shows that both its revenue and profit in the company’s home market Japan declined, while Uniqlo USA is “working steadily towards turning a profit in fiscal 2019” and Uniqlo Europe reported “a steady first-half performance”.

However, the Japanese retailer said it reported strong growth in revenue and profit—approximately 20% year-on-year—in the Chinese mainland, without mentioning its business performance in Taiwan.

When asked why these regions were selected for the TikTok campaign, a ByteDance spokewoman told KrASIA that it was a decision based on “business development.”

TikTok is ByteDance’s international version of Douyin.