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Two Japanese Retailers Set U.S. Entry

Bandai Namco coming to American Dream; GU to debut on NY’s Broadway

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A rendering of the planned GU NY SoHo. Courtesy of GU

A pair of Tokyo-based retailers – Bandai Namco and GU – have unveiled plans to open stores in America. The U.S. unit of Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America (Irvine, Calif.) said its store selling toys/collectibles will debut in the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, N.J. on May 31, while apparel retailer GU, a sister brand of fast-fashion giant UNIQLO, will take the wraps off the GU NY SoHo on Broadway this fall.

The Bandai locale will feature toys and collectibles from a variety of the company’s brands, including Bandai Hobby, Tamashii Nations, Tamagotchi, Anime Heroes and others.

The 10,000-square-foot GU store, meantime, will be the brand’s first overseas flagship locale, and will offer women’s and men’s clothing over two levels at 578 Broadway. It will replace a pop-up store in New York that the retailer opened in fall 2022 and plans to close this summer.

“We have applied what we learned from the pop-up store to establish a framework for product development and business operations at a global level, and we are extremely pleased to be officially opening a store in the United States this fall,” said GU CEO Osamu Yunoki, whose unit operates about 470 stores in Asia, mostly in Japan. “We will also launch our online store at the same time, and hope that even more customers will enjoy GU fashion.”

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