CNBC Insight This person made Rp. 585 trillion because of a shop name typo, how come? Entrepreneur – 9 hours ago


Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – This is the story of Tadashi Yanai. He is the founder of the world's famous clothing store, Uniqlo. However, not many people know that his success at Uniqlo started with a mistake in naming the store. How could that be?

Shop Name Typo Brings Blessings

Since childhood, Tadashi Yanai's life has not been so difficult. He grew up in a fairly well-to-do family. Because, his father owns a men's clothing shop called Ogori Shoji, in Ube, Yamaguchi Japan. Thanks to that, he was able to go to university level.

Even though he is the heir to the family business, the man who was born on February 7 1949 does not directly manage the Ogori Shoji shop. He instead worked as a salesperson at Jusco Supermarket for a year before finally leaving at the urging of his father. It was only then that he came down from the mountains to raise his father's clothing shop in 1984.


Yanai's descent from the mountain was accompanied by the opening of a clothing shop called Unique Clothing Warehouse, abbreviated as Uniclo. Uniclo specializes in selling well-known sportswear manufacturers from the United States (US) such as Nike and Adidas. As a result of Japanese citizens being infatuated with US products at that time, Uniclo, which sold goods at low prices, practically sold well.

As a result, in Japan, Uniclo is everywhere. However, when they wanted to expand abroad, an event occurred that changed Yanai and Uniclo's life journey.

Quote South China Morning Post (SCMP), the story begins when Yanai wanted to expand to Hong Kong in 1988. When carrying out the administrative process for the company's legality, one of the staff wrote the shop name wrong. From previously “Uniclo” to “Uniqlo”.

Yanai only discovered the mistake after a shop in Hong Kong displayed the name Uniqlo instead of Uniclo in front of its outlet. He thought, instead of having to bother changing the name of the shop in Hong Kong because it had already been branded, it would be better to change all the names of the existing shops. Including changing the company name. As a result, Yanai changed the name of all Uniclo outlets in Japan to Uniqlo.

Unexpectedly, the name change actually turned out to be a blessing. Uniqlo outlets are like viruses. It spreads very quickly in a fairly short time. Until 1998 alone, Uniqlo already had 300 stores.

However, Yanai was not satisfied. He doesn't want Uniqlo to only sell products from other companies. He wants Uniqlo to be like H&M, Marks & Spencer, Esprit and other European products that produce their own clothes. Then, citing the site A B CYanai consulted John Jay, an advertising expert.

Jay said, Uniqlo should make clothes aimed at Asian people. If the European brands mentioned previously sell goods for Europeans, then Uniqlo must make clothes according to Asian characteristics. Apart from that, the company is also required to make clothes using technology that makes users feel comfortable.

As written Fast Company, From this advice, Uniqlo makes three types of clothing products, including very light clothing (lightweight), clothing for cold weather and keeps the temperature hot (heat tech), and cool clothing (airism). Unexpectedly, all three types of products sold well in the Asian market.

For Asian people who often do activities, they buy the lightweight category. For tropical residents like Indonesia, they buy products airism. Likewise, people in Asia have cold climates, so they buy heat tech.

These three categories are the key to Uniqlo's sales success. Thanks to this innovation, on its official website, Uniqlo has 2,394 outlets throughout the world. In Indonesia alone there are 63 shops. All of them are united under the banner of Yanai's Fast Retailing.Co.

Due to the size of Uniqlo's business, Yanai has now been named by Forbes as the number one richest person in Japan. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg International Index places him at number 35 as the richest person in the world. It is recorded that his assets reached US$ 38.6 billion or the equivalent of Rp. 585 trillion.

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