Tadashi Yanai Quotes

  1. America, for me, is the country where, if you have something great to offer, you’ll be valued highly.
  2. More than trends, consumers need functionality. Everything needs an element of fashion, but that’s more like a spice.
  3. Too often, we have tended to fall into a trap of creating plain hamburgers.
  4. Wal-Mart is an amazing success story. What I particularly admire very much about the late Sam Walton was his policy of valuing his employees. Giving value to employees is very rare in the retail industry. I also admire the strategies Walton used to build up his discount store concept.
  5. It is clothes. It is parts. Therefore, you combine the parts differently to create your own unique expression.
  6. I hate politics. What they say and what they do is completely different.
  7. The world’s major metropolitan cities are more or less the same.
  8. People say that globalisation has negative aspects, but I don’t believe globalisation is bad. It’s criticised from a western perspective, but if you put yourself in the shoes of people in the developing world, it provides an unprecedented opportunity.
  9. Politicians make decisions in favor of their interest groups or their supporters back in their hometowns.
  10. Our underwear used to just be cotton, but we wanted to see if we could create something out of synthetics.
  11. Konosuke Matsushita was a visionary entrepreneur. He started working very young as a teenager, and he eventually created Panasonic to become a truly global company.
  12. Opening new stores outside of Japan is important, but training our employees is even more important.
  13. The air of the English is down-to-earth. They care about details; there’s a tradition, but there’s also a counter-culture: the younger generation versus the older generation and so on. But then that’s well blended into a happy balance and crystallised into common sense.
  14. I’m afraid Japanese people tend to collective hysteria.
  15. Forty-five years ago, when I was 18, I came to San Francisco by boat and took two weeks to get here. I had a great impression. I think San Francisco is the welcoming gate for people from Asia.
  16. I think like a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Failure is a great teacher. At the same time, you must remember, success will never last… Whether it’s tech or fashion, it must be for the customer.
  17. We are a country of artisans and a country of manufacturing. I think Japanese textile technology is the best in the world.
  18. Japanese businesspeople and companies are lacking in individuality.
  19. Japan has only 100m people. Asia has 4bn. At least one-third, maybe nearly half, will become middle class, and this is a big opportunity for Japanese businessmen.
  20. People shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to get high-quality clothing.
  21. I tell people that we must have the courage to share what we feel, but no one follows me.
  22. As a businessperson, I don’t have the power to change the government. That is in the hands of the political leaders. However, as a taxpayer, we have the right to be critical of the government and demand change.
  23. At first, Uniqlo was a casual chain on the back streets of Hiroshima. Then… we became a national brand in Japan. So, the next step is to become a global brand.
  24. You have to be a crazy guy and a little eccentric to be very successful.
  25. Our international success started out first because we became the No. 1 casual wear brand in our home market of Japan. Then, we set up stores in the world’s major fashion centers of New York, Paris and London.
  26. Japan’s biggest problems are conservatism and cowardice.
  27. The biggest part of my job now is to quickly develop successors, and around the world I am working to develop new business leaders in the company.
  28. At Uniqlo, we’re thinking ahead. We’re thinking about how to create new, innovative products… and sell that to everyone.
  29. I think I may not be able to retire.
  30. I learned that people don’t buy anything from unknown stores.
  31. In general, the apparel industry isn’t about continual process improvement or making the perfect piece of denim; it’s about chasing trends.
  32. Americans believe cotton is best, but we’ve invented new fabrics that will change your lifestyle.
  33. The Asian brand, which I admire for having become a global success, is Samsung. In comparison, we’re just starting, but I believe that we at Uniqlo will be the next Asian brand to do well globally.
  34. If you always think about your dreams or goals, work steadfastly towards them and continue to challenge yourself, you will definitely be able to realise those dreams or goals.

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