Is Uniqlo bringing dozens of polo shirts to Seattle, or not?

When I posted in March about the possibility of Uniqlo opening downtown the response was pretty clear: You’d really, really like the chance to shop the Japanese version of American Apparel.

So I continued poking around, trying to substantiate the rumor, and eventually spoke with a member of a prominent business association in the downtown neighborhood. My contact in turn chatted with her colleague, a real estate specialist, and came back to me with the news of no news. He could find no evidence of Uniqlo coming into Seattle.

But what about this, a re-post on Simply Hired for management trainees? (The Simply Hired post was what started all this speculation last winter.)

And then on Twitter via Yay Today, this popped up: "Made my day-the cashier at uniqlo in NYC just told me that 2 locations are coming to Seattle by early next year!"

Did Yay Today know something the downtown real estate specialist didn’t?

I followed up on the Tweet via a direct message, and heard back that, "Hi! I was at the soho store and asked the cashier I’d been talking to. No name :(. But he said it as if it was common knowledge & that …" (second message, character number restrictions and all…) "They’d be opening 2 stores by early 2013."

And then I did something I probably ought to have done back in March, but didn’t because I just never trust email addresses listed on "about us" pages. (Do you?) I emailed the U.S. customer service alias and heard back in pretty short order.

The reply to Request ID :##30470## was, "We have received your email inquiry about new store information. We do not have any details about future store opening in Seattle. For future plan, please wait until we announce in our website."

Where are we at with this, people? Do cashiers have information that customer service reps and downtown business specialists do not? Do cashiers just not know about embargoed news and the protocol of sharing it? Could it be, as my editor-in-chief suggests, that Uniqlo isn’t going into downtown but maybe U Village? Susie Plummer, general manager there, says nope. She’s talked to the Japanese retailers, and they’re doing their due diligence and checking us and our spaces out, but according to her, nothing is eminent.

Are we or aren’t we getting a Uniqlo?

I wish I knew.

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