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Uniqlo's TikTok Sensation Crossbody Bag Drives Record Sales and Viral Craze

Uniqlo's crossbody bag boosts European sales past €1 billion, driven by Gen Z demand.
Cover Image Source: A Uniqlo store | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander
Cover Image Source: A Uniqlo store | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Alexander

Uniqlo, the renowned fashion retailer, has experienced a significant boost in business attributed to a crossbody bag that gained immense popularity on TikTok. This $15 accessory, dubbed the "hottest product of the year so far" by Vogue, captivated young shoppers and became Uniqlo's best-selling bag ever.

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A post shared by UNIQLO Global (@uniqlo)

Initially highlighted by Vogue as a must-have item, Uniqlo's crossbody bag quickly caught the attention of social media users, particularly on TikTok. With its affordable price and versatile design, the bag became a viral sensation, drawing comparisons to Mary Poppins' magical carpet bag for its remarkable capacity to hold various items.

The crossbody bag affectionately nicknamed the "banana bag" due to its distinctive shape attracted Gen Z and millennial consumers. A viral video showcasing the bag's spaciousness contributed to its widespread appeal, leading to increased sales and brand recognition.

The bag's lightweight construction stands out as a top feature alongside its price. Often overlooked during online shopping, its minimal weight makes carrying travel essentials a breeze. Comfort is paramount, with its curved shape snug against your body, providing a sense of security. Padded lightly and equipped with an adjustable wide, webbed shoulder strap, it ensures a comfortable carry.

Additionally, its water-repellent nylon exterior allows for easy cleaning with just a damp cloth.

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A post shared by UNIQLO Global (@uniqlo)

In addition to the crossbody bag, Uniqlo witnessed heightened interest in other products promoted on TikTok and social media platforms. Items such as a top with a built-in bra and wide-legged pleated trousers garnered attention from consumers, reflecting the brand's ability to resonate with evolving fashion trends.

@limonetta__ レザータッチパフィーバッグ number/468834 ¥2,990 ・水や汚れを簡単に拭き取れる ・13インチサイズのパソコンも収納可能 ・大容量で軽い生地なのに洗練された高級感あるレザータッチデザイン Faux Leather Puffy Bag $39.90 ・Easy to wipe off water and dirt. ・Accommodates up to 13-inch laptops. ・Despite its large capacity and lightweight fabric, it boasts a sophisticated, luxurious leather-touch design. Color/Black, Off Whit, Olive @ユニクロ【公式】 #uniqlobag #uniqlo #unibag #ユニクロ ♬ kiss me - audios

According to reports, Uniqlo's European sales surged past $1.1 billion, fueled by the viral success of its products on TikTok. Moreover, the London-based division of the Japanese retailer reported a turnover of €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2023, marking a substantial increase from the previous year.

Pre-tax profits also experienced a significant rise, climbing from €109.8 million ($118.2 million) to €186.5 million ($200.8 million) over the same period. Furthermore, the retailer expanded its footprint during the year, opening three new stores, including its inaugural location in Poland.

Additionally, the average number of employees at Uniqlo's European arm increased from 3,732 to 4,604. However, amidst the positive financial results, Uniqlo remains vigilant of potential challenges, particularly in light of rising inflation and the impact of political events on customer traffic in major European cities.

Uniqlo, founded by businessman Tadashi Yanai in 1984, has evolved into a global fashion powerhouse with over 2,400 stores worldwide. Despite having a relatively modest presence in the UK with 18 stores, the brand continues to expand its reach.

The company's success has propelled Yanai to become Japan's wealthiest individual, with a fortune exceeding $35 billion.

Meanwhile, fellow Japanese retailer Muji recently announced plans to sell itself out of administration to safeguard its UK stores. With five locations in London and a presence across Europe, Muji's strategic restructuring reflects the broader challenges faced by retailers amidst evolving consumer preferences and economic uncertainties.