First Uniqlo store in Bali set for Oct. 26 opening, Indonesian Special Olympics athletes get ‘first look’

Athletes from Special Olypmics Indonesia are among the first to check out Uniqlo’s first shop in Bali. Photo: Coconuts Bali

Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo is making its debut in Bali this month with the opening of a shop at Kuta’s Mal Bali Galeria.

Uniqlo’s known for its basic casual wear that’s low in cost, and high in quality. This isn’t just something we ripped off the presser — you can Google it. Compared to the material and manufacturing standards brought forth by other international fast fashion brands, Uniqlo’s USP is that their stuff is just better made. There are even articles dedicated to exploring why the brand is so wildly popular, and the answer usually comes down to this higher quality construction.

Personally, we’re fans of their plain T-shirts, jeans, socks, sweats — and the item that tops them all: the underwear. We’ve shopped their stores in China, Singapore, KL, and the US, so when the ‘story broke’ on the clothing news beat that they would be opening up a shop in Bali in October 2018, we were indeed pretty stoked.

A sneak peek of Bali’s first Uniqlo store. Photo: Coconuts Bali
A sneak peek of Bali’s first Uniqlo store. Photo: Coconuts Bali

Before they officially open their doors to the public on Oct. 26, the casual wear clothing chain invited 10 young athletes from the Special Olympics Indonesia (SOIna) Bali for a special event this past Wednesday.

The athletes, who play the gamut of sports like shot put, bocce, and soccer, got to take a sneak peek of the 2,000 square meter shop on the second floor of the Galeria mall, where Uniqlo staff had a t-shirt painting activity setup for them, in collaboration with art students from Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Denpasar.

Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali

Coconuts Bali was there, too — and we have to say it was a masterpiece in corporate social responsibility and PR.

The athletes, primarily suffering from a range of intellectual disabilities, were paired with some very high-energy Uniqlo staff, along with the art school students, to paint some of the shop’s famous plain white tees — though these had the outline of Balinese barong. 

This clearly isn’t Uniqlo’s first walk in the park—they’ve been partners with SOIna since 2014 and they’ve done similar activities for the openings of their 19 other branch stores across Indonesia mainly located in the capital Jakarta, but also with stores in cities Makassar, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Medan.

Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali

About two weeks before each store’s opening, they will do a similar event, a PR rep for Uniqlo told us.

We’re also told that Uniqlo works closely with SOIna to hire employees with disabilities, giving an opening to the workforce to some of the most marginalized people in Indonesian society. If only all other shops in Bali, whether international mainstream or locally owned, would put such an emphasis on employing the disabled — we’d be totally behind that, too.

Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali

A note to those who may be curious about checking out the store — the shop will have various promos going on during their first three days open. Among them is: basic tees selling for IDR99k (US$6.51) on Oct. 26, opening day. They also have a “limited edition” dry bag that will get thrown in for shoppers who spend a minimum of IDR500k (US$32.87). That’s until supplies last.

And from Oct. 17 to Nov. 11, Uniqlo has placed “claw machines” at partner stores which have prizes inside, including the shop’s LifeWear products, gift vouchers, and other merch. Locations listed include Alter Ego, Eat Well, Hungry Bird Coffee Roaster, and Warung Pepe.

FIND IT:

Uniqlo
Mal Bali Galeria, Second floor
Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Simpang Dewa Ruci, Kuta
Everyday, 10am-10pm

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