Uniqlo, the super popular Japanese fast-fashion retailer, is finally landing in D.C. proper.
The retailer has signed a lease to do a temporary location at 1090 F St. NW in Penn Quarter, which was formerly home to an American Apparel store.
The 3,473-square-foot location is much smaller than a typical Uniqlo store, which carries a wide range of apparel for men and women, including shoes, outerwear and accessories. But the brand plans to use the six-month pop-up as a way to test the market, according to Melissa Webb of Rappaport, who, along with Bill Dickinson and Mike Howard, represented the landlord, Rockrose Development Corp. Uniqlo was represented by Mike Pratt and Jennifer Price of KLNB.
If the store does well in this location, theoretically that could be the go-ahead to move into bigger space in the F Street NW corridor, Webb said. Uniqlo will be in good company in the area, with H&M, Forever21, Sephora, Zara, Gap, Banana Republic and Anthropologie, among others, within a couple of blocks of the store.
The chain has been rumored to be coming to Washington for years, prompting eager anticipation among hipsters and devotees of the store. Advocates were pulling for it to be part of CityCenterDC, but Uniqlo’s lower cost model didn’t fit in with the luxury theme that project took on.
Uniqlo offers a wide range of staples, a bit like a Japanese Gap, as well as trendier items and gear made from lightweight performance fabrics that tout warmth and other properties useful for athletes.
The first location in the D.C. area actually didn’t open in D.C., but in Tysons Corner Center, where Uniqlo moved into a 10,500-square-foot store in October. The F Street location aims to open in September, according to Webb.
Recent scuttlebutt has also suggested that Uniqlo is coming to Union Station, given that the company has several jobs posted that reference Union Station. We’ve reached out to Uniqlo to see whether Union Station is, in fact, happening and will update this post when we hear back.