Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo drew throngs of shoppers to the Atlantic Terminal Mall for the grand opening of its first Brooklyn outpost on Friday.
Fans of the retail chain waited in line for more than 20 minutes to get their mitts on new clothes at the massive new store on the second floor of the Fort Greene shopping center across the street from the Barclays Center. Couture-conscious Brooklynites browsing the aisles said they were glad that they no longer have to trek to Manhattan for their favorite threads.
“It’s very exciting to have it close by — it’s more convenient,” said Bensonhurst resident Jin Lin, who is a fan of the Japanese chain’s “ultra light” down jackets.
Uniqlo honchos said that the Atlantic Terminal Mall was the perfect place to open the chain store, which is known for offering natty casual wear at cheaper prices (jeans sometimes go for $20) than similar department retailers.
“Brooklyn and the Atlantic Terminal are a great destination for the Uniqlo brand and an especially good fit for the rich culture and diversity of the borough,” said Larry Meyer, chief operating officer of the company.
Borough residents said that Uniqlo is a welcome addition to the mall that houses stores including Victoria’s Secret, Target, Bath and Body Works, and Marshall’s.
“It will draw a lot more people to the area who wouldn’t normally come to the Target,” said Suzette Hunte of Bedford-Stuyvesant, adding that the opening of the store is the latest sign of how the neighborhood surrounding the Barclays Center is gentrifying.
“This is riding the wave of it all and further cementing the fact that big chain stores don’t have to open in Manhattan and that Brooklyn is a viable place to set up shop,” she said.
Globally there are more than 1,200 Uniqlo stores, with 854 in Japan and three in Manhattan.
The name Uniqlo is a contraction of the phrase “unique clothing,” according to company executives.