Crowds wait hours for Uniqlo’s Canadian debut

Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has opened its very first Canadian location in downtown Toronto, taking a risk on the same finicky market that rejected brands such Aeropostale and Target.

The sprawling 28,000-square foot space at Toronto Eaton Centre offers a wide array of modern, casual basics, such as merino wool sweaters and down-filled jackets, at low- to mid-range prices.

Shoppers gathered outside the store from 4 a.m. on Friday morning to be among the first inside. The line stretched through the mall’s atrium, down a floor and spilled outside onto Dundas Street.

“It fits me well, I really enjoy the brand and they always sell out of my size, so I wanted to make sure I get my items,” Justin Wakileh, the first customer in line, told CTV Toronto.

Hints of Canadiana and Japanese culture can be found throughout the store, including a display featuring hundreds of red origami maple leaves. A troupe of Japanese drummers ushered in the grand opening.

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