Uniqlo was founded in Hiroshima, Japan in 1984. It began as a casual clothing store, and its name stands for "Unique Clothing Warehouse." Uniqlo was founded as part of the Fast Retailing company and was spun off into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fast Retailing prior to its international expansion.
Uniqlo's parent company, Fast Retailing, was called Ogori Shoji until 1991. Ogori Shoji was founded in 1949 in Yamaguchi, Japan. Prior to the establishment of Uniqlo, Ogori Shoji sold men's clothing through the Men's Shop OS chain of stores. Uniqlo was the company's first unisex clothing store.
The store was founded to provide clothing suited for all styles. Uniqlo's designs were intended to be simple, so customers could adapt them to existing wardrobes and styles. Uniqlo products were intended to be independent of fashion trends and the style differences between age groups, genders and regions.
Uniqlo first expanded outside of Japan in 2002. The original international stores were in China and the United Kingdom. The company expanded to the United States, Hong Kong and South Korea in 2005, and to Malaysia in 2010. Uniqlo locations were also opened in Australia, Bangladesh, France, Macau and Indonesia as well as in the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.