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Uniqlo Opens Herald Square Location with Japanese Drumming

By Ben Fractenberg | October 21, 2011 3:15pm

MIDTOWN — Roughly 800 anxious shoppers lined up along 34th Street Friday morning to be among the first to grab deals at the newest Uniqlo clothing store in Manhattan.

The Herald Square store is the Japanese company's third in New York and second largest in the world. The new location, which is on 34th between Fifth and Sixth avenues, opened just one week after their largest flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street.

Marci Palefsky was the first in line, arriving at the store at 6:45 a.m. for the noon opening.

"Last time I was unable to get in," she said about trying to go to the Fifth Avenue opening. "I wanted to make sure this time."

Palefsky said she planned on getting a pair of jeans and cashmere sweater.

The festivities kicked off at 11:30 a.m. with traditional Japanese drummers playing in front of the store.

Passersby stopped to listen and snap photos.

"This is truly the most exciting day in the history of Uniqlo," said Shin Odake, head of the company's U.S. operations, before cutting a ribbon with other business leaders to open the store.

Shoppers then streamed in while employees cheered them on.

"Thank you so much for waiting," shouted one employee standing near the door. "You're in!"

Shane Miler, 21, of Queens had two pairs of jeans in his basket while he looked for additional pairs.

"It's amazing," he said about the look of store. "It's very stylish how they designed this. It stands out."

By 12:30 p.m. the line at the men's section registers was already starting to get long as shoppers rushed to find their deals and get out.

Employees seemed equally as excited as shoppers.

"We were so ready for this. We couldn't wait," said Saunjuli Delao, a store supervisor. "We just want people to grab, to take them off the shelf."