With more than 800 stores, Uniqlo is almost in every city of Japan. Even if you live in the suburb or the rural part of Japan, you will find one of their big stores not so far from your residence. It is the go-to destination to buy clothes for many Japanese which is not surprising since Uniqlo has a wide collection for all Men, Women (with a separate maternity section for pregnant), Kids(Boys/Girls), Baby, Toddler, and even Newborn.
The quality and price of clothes at Uniqlo range from reasonable to cheap. Japanese and foreigners living in Japan choose Uniqlo over other fast fashion brands such as H&M and Zara because Uniqlo is comparatively cheaper with reasonable quality than the laters. The title might look irrelevant as clothes in Uniqlo are already cheap. However, if you are as economical as me then you will always prefer to save some extra yens. Here are a few tips for you. Follow these tips next time you visit Uniqlo and shop wiser.
This is the foremost tip we give for anyone who shops at Uniqlo. It is to grab a chirashi (leaflet) kept in the entrance. This leaflet has sample images of seasonal clothes with respective prices. Uniqlo stores are quite big and it may cost you some time to search the item you are willing to buy. The easy way is to grab a leaflet, look if there is the item you wanted and ask the nearest staff (staff at Uniqlo is trained to be kind, helpful and treat their customers with the utmost respect. So ask them anything without any hesitation).
Here comes the hack, Uniqlo reduces the price for some of their items every week. It is called “Kikan Gentei Kakaku” or the limited time sale. The sale on that specific item lasts for a week and next week another item is on limited time sale. The good thing is items on limited time sale are listed on the flyer. Hence, hack number 1 is to grab a chirashi.
“Shin Kakaku means new reduced price. It differs from “Kikan Gentei Kakaku” mentioned above in terms of time. Shin Kakaku is the price that is reduced permanently. Go and look inside the store, you will always find items with the new reduced price. They are displayed on red price POPs. Uniqlo being a large retail store, it needs to regularly clear the stock. New items and wears arrive almost every month. The old items then will be on sale. Of course, these old items are worth to check out. They are close to new and good on quality. These items could not get sold within the predicted time. Go bulk purchase those Shin Kakaku items.
This Matomegai is a little bit different to bulk purchase from the English dictionary. Purchasing a huge volume of items at Uniqlo will not give you any discount unless you are buying a large volume of uniforms. However, sometimes there is a “Matomegai campaign”. Suppose the t-shirt costs 1500 yen. If the t-shirt is subjected to matomegai then, you could buy 2 pieces of t-shirts for 2500 yen. Since matomegai may have several conditions applied it is better to ask the staff at Uniqlo. Most of the staff are good in English, so language should not be a problem.
Do you want something at a real cheap price? Look over the wagon kept in corners of the store. Old, nonseasonal and unsold items are wrapped in plastics and moved to the wagon. It is similar to the section in the supermarket where Bento with very close expiry are sold. Items on the wagon are discounted 50% or even more. However, it may be a herculean task to find the right size for you. Since a lot of people are sneaking to find their size, wagons are usually messed up.
You might not know, but Uniqlo does provide the service of alterations ( fixing the length of pants). The cost for alteration depends upon your purchases and the type of alteration you want to make. There are two types of stitches to choose from. The running stitch (called as misin) and the blind stitch(a.k.a machuri). If the price of the pants you are purchasing is above 1990 yen and your alteration preference is “misin” then they will fix it for free. If your preference is “machuri” then it cost you 280 yen plus taxes. Remember if the purchased pants are below 1990 yen then it will cost 280 yen for “misin” and 560 yen for “machuri”.
This should be the ultimate hack to cheaply shop at Uniqlo. The solution is to work at one of their stores. Workers at Uniqlo get a staff discount of 30% in all of their items. The major perk is, this discount applies to part-time workers too. So if you are on a visa that allows you to work part-time in Japan you may choose Uniqlo to get their staff discounts.
The collaborations with top designers around the world such as Hana Tajima, JW Anderson, Ines De La Fressange, recently Alexander Wang and Engineered Garments Uniqlo is increasing its appeal among all. Have you ever shopped at any Uniqlo Stores? Remember the tips and shop wiser. Do not forget to share your experiences with us.