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Uniqlo to open first Long Island store at Smith Haven Mall

Customers check products at the Uniqlo casual fashion

Customers check products at the Uniqlo casual fashion store in Tokyo. The company plans to open its first Long Island store at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove this fall. (July 11, 2013) Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo plans to open its first Long Island store at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove this fall, part of a push to extend the chain's reach in the United States, the company said Thursday.

The Long Island store will be one of 10 scheduled to open this fall in the United States and is part of an expansion strategy aimed at boosting Uniqlo's annual U.S. sales to $10 billion by 2020, the company said.

"In the United States, we will focus on opening new Uniqlo stores in established shopping malls as we seek to build dominant retail chains of between 20 and 30 stores in and around the cities of New York on the East Coast and San Francisco on the West Coast," Tadashi Yanai, chief executive of Uniqlo's parent company Fast Retailing Co., said in May.

Uniqlo is one of several "fast-fashion" retailers known for quickly bringing runway styles and fashion trends for men, women and children to its stores at affordable prices. The chain's primary target audience, according to its website, consists of male and female university students between the ages of 18 and 24. Its secondary audience is working men and women between the ages of 25 and 35.

"By tapping into the suburban market, Uniqlo is positioning itself to be in direct competition with H&M and Forever21," its fast-fashion competitors, said Nikoleta Panteva, senior retail analyst with IBISWorld Inc., which is based in Santa Monica, Calif. "They cater to the same type of consumer -- teens through mid-20s seeking budget-friendly, trendy styles."

Uniqlo currently has seven U.S. stores, including three in Manhattan.

Among the 10 new stores are locations planned for the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn and the Staten Island Mall. The new stores will generate several hundred part-time and full-time jobs, the company said.

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