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Let’s take a fashion dive at one of the largest clothing companies in 3 continents North America, Europe and Asia that are among top 10 clothing companies in the world by brand value. These continents are also the largest continents by sales of clothing. Some estimate the world consumes about 80 - 100 billion new pieces of clothing each year. It is about 10 per person.

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How well you know top brand names. The brands we are looking at are Nike, Zara and Uniqlo. These brands are the top clothing companies from their respective continents by brand value and among top by sales. All these top fashion companies were founded few decades ago. Nike, Zara and Uniqlo are among top 10 most valuable clothing brands as well according to Brand Finance. The sales of these companies last year were $10 billion or more.

Companies by founding year.

Nike - United States, North America -was founded in 1964.

Zara – Spain, Europe – was founded in 1975.

Uniqlo – Japan, Asia – was founded in 1949.


    Now that we met and said hi to colorful historic and amazing facts of clothing companies, let’s look at Nike cool facts. One of the remarkable fact is the company’s size. The company is the largest in the world by sales in clothing. Nike has been founded in 1964. The original name of the company was Blue Ribbon Sports. It was changed to Nike later in 1971. Nike was founded in Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.

    Nike logo has an interesting history with track-and field coach and his student founding the company. The famous Nike logo was designed for $35 by a student. Today, everybody knows Nike logo.

    Abound 1 billion items are sold by Nike every year. Moreover, Nike is a leader in athletic shoes market. Some estimates say Nike sells 25 pairs of sneakers each second. In addition, Nike is the most favorable US apparel brand among many according to Morning Consult.

    Nike first foreign market was in Canada.

    Sport has played a big part in Nike history and today. Many sports players promoted Nike. Romanian tennis player LLie Nastase was the first athlete to endorse Nike in 1972. In 1984 Nike launched Air Jordan series. Michael Jordan promoted company.

    The famous Nike slogan is still popular today. What is the Nike slogan? The Nike slogan is “Just Do It” and was first used in 1980.

    • Nike is very often rated as top favorite apparel brand in United States.
    • The Nike is also the world’s most valuable sports company.
    • The slogan “Just Do It” was first used in 1980.


    We are moving to Europe. Zara is part of Inditex, which is the largest company in Spain on stock exchange. The company was founded in 1975. Just like with many fashion names the renaming took place. Zara was originally named Zorba. Many of Zara products are still manufactured in Spain.

    The first store was in the coastal town Coruna in Northwest Spain. Zara is in about 100 countries. It is among the largest retailer in the world apparel. There are about 3,000 Zara stores around the world. Moreover, one of Zara warehouses is 5 million square feet. Some of Zara warehouses are 9 times more than Amazon’s.

    Company sometimes makes a design within 1-2 weeks. Zara can sometimes launches more than 10,000 designs in one year.

    Going back to history it took some time for Zara to grow. In 1988, ZARA was entering its first foreign market in Portugal. When Zara made it to United States? In 1989, Zara was introducing its products for the first time in United States.


    Uniqlo revenues are mostly above $10 billion each year, but depend a lot on USD/JPY exchange rate and others.The company was founded in 1949. What is Unique about Uniqlo? The company name happened by typo mistake. At some point the name registration misread “C” and “Q” and as a result new name Uniqlo was born. Moreover, the company is owned by Fast Retailing and is among the largest in Japan.

    Uniqlo was originally a textile manufacturing. At some point Uniqlo sold menswear only. The women clothing to the store was added later on. In 1984, the company started to sell more various clothing including women’s. That helped to improve growth over the years.

    One of the reasons Uniqlo got popular because it keeps lower prices on certain clothes making it affordable. Inexpensive clothing helped Uniqlo to become popular in Japan.

    Interesting some years ago the company sold pair of jeans in all countries for $9.90.

    Uniqlo is the biggest apparel chain in Asia. While the company is all over the world, it is remarkable how many stores it has in some places. There are about 100 Uniqlo stores in Tokyo alone. Its first foreign store was the opening of Seoul location in 2011 that brought one of the largest 1-day sales for the company. In 2004, Uniqlo opened the first large store format with the size over 2,000 square meters.

    At some point ,Uniqlo international sales reached 50% of overall. Uniqlo sales growth is ahead of many competitors.

    Uniglo has flagship is LifeWear, which is products that are every day and high-quality according to the company. A high-quality, innovation clothing that is known to be universal and comfortable.

    In other aspects, Uniqlo involved in sports from tennis to Olympics. They made uniforms for Japan’s Olympics teams.


    The sales of companies are greatly affected by exchange rates. For example, USD/JPY was 132.8 at the end of March 2023. AT the same time, euro was at 1.09 during that time. 

    Uniqlo – uses Japanese yen mainly

    Zara – uses euro maily

    Nike -uses US dollar mainly 

    Market Capitalization

    In market capitalization the Nike stock is over $110 billion. In comparison Zara (Inditex) is about $100 billion.  At the same time, Uniqlo (Fast Retailing) is $60 billion. Nike is about 50th largest company by market capitalization in the United States. ZARA is part of Inditex which is the largest Spain’s company by market capitalization. Uniqlo is owned by Fast Retailing which is the eight largest company by the market capitalization in Japan.


    One of the latest trends is the increase in online sales. Global digital fashion market is over $300 billion according to some estimates. Digital sales account for about quarter of Nike’s sales. Zara has about quarter of sales online as well. Uniqlo online sales are about 20% of total sales. Many companies expect to reach 30% in online total sales in coming years.


    • Nike revenue for 12 financial months in 2022 are about $50 billion.
    • Zara (Inditex) sale are about $30 billion.
    • Uniglo (Fast Retailing) sales are about $20 billion in 2022.
    • The sales numbers are vary based on exchange rate.


    Did you buy NIKE, ZARA or UNIQLO items?

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