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Big-name retailers choose N.J. to launch U.S. stores

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Big-name retailers are choosing New Jersey as one of the top locations to begin or expand their physical presence in the United States.

New York retailer Henri Bendel, a Fifth Avenue staple, recently opened one of a handful of stores outside the city in Cherry Hill. The company has been around since 1895 and specializes in fashion accessories.

 

Women’s Wear Daily reported earlier this month that hosiery giant Spanx is contemplating opening one of its first three retail stores in Paramus. That would be the second big-brand land for the Westfield Garden State Plaza in recent weeks.

And starting this week, shoppers at Westfield Garden State Plaza have been getting a taste of Japanese clothing company Uniqulo at a popup store. Uniqlo is building its fourth full-size U.S. retail store — a 43,000 square foot store with a separate dedicated entrance — at the mall.

Shin Odake, the U.S. CEO of Uniqlo, said the Paramus store is being constructed by the same architects who designed the company’s U.S. flagship store in Manhattan. Despite being a mall-based store — the brand’s first in the nation — he said he hopes to offer the same shopping experience as the freestanding New York location.

“We felt that New Jersey is a great state for retail, and that Paramus, within New Jersey, is in a very good county for retail business, and Garden State is one of the best malls in the country. Luckily we were able to obtain a very good space,” Odake said of the company’s expansion plans.

Odake hopes to build a more loyal, regular client base at the Paramus location; he said the Fifth Avenue store mostly is frequented by tourists. The relationship with Bergen County shoppers begins with the popup store, which will have a limited selection of the brand’s most popular product, light down jackets.

The popup concept has been used by Uniqlo to launch stores around the world, and was not a direct attempt to reach the back-to-school shoppers, Odake said.

The company is hiring staff for the store, and seeks to fill 220 full- and part-time positions.

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