Fast Retailing & Discovering Le Ble d'Or in Taipei

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Finally got some free time to blog about my life recently. I was preparing some tests to get my financial license last week, so I was very short on time to do anything else. 
Not quite sure the reasons why one needs to obtain so many licenses in order to work at a bank, while one does not need to have any to begin with in the United States. 
Oh well, I guess this is how Asian banks work. I just need to suck it up and adapt to the culture. :)

While preparing for financial tests, I am also keeping my options open. In fact, I just finished a second interview with UNIQLO, which is a brand under Fast Retailing Group from Japan. It is interesting to see that many companies are following ZARA's business model, affordable fashion with quick changes of styles. UNIQLO is actually expanding pretty quickly worldwide. The company was founded in 1949 producing men's clothing, and opened a store selling unisex casual wear in 1985. The name UNIQLO was created from the original name of the store "Unique Clothing Warehouse". They already expanded to 13 countries since then. 

On the other hand, ZARA, which was founded in 1975, now has stores in over 73 countries. 
Both companies use what they called "instant fashion" business model, or what UNIQLO named its business model as the Specialty store retailer of Private label Apparel (SPA). 
However, the concept is that the company reduces costs and lead time by owning and controlling the process of design, manufacture, and and distribution. Basically, designs of their gourmets quickly response and reflect to the latest fashions or sales trends.  
Most profitable retailers are No.1 ZARA, No.2 H&M, No.3 GAP, and No.4 UNIQLO. 
It is a pretty smart business model. The company provides affordable fashion to customers and designs are renewed constantly at the same time very sensitive to the latest trend. They manufacture products themselves, so they don't need to worry about miscommunications with factories. 

Alright, enough about the fast retailing business model. Let's look at some delicious food pics at Le Ble d'Or here in Taipei. 
It is a restaurant serves American/ Italian/ Asian style cuisines. Most importantly they brew their own selections of beers! I had a glass of honey beer. It was very fresh and very tasty. And of course the menu provides many delicious dishes which are great with beers. I was also very impressed with the effort they put in the decoration of the restaurant. The whole restaurant was designed as beer cellar. You can see wooden materials everywhere and sections are divided by walls of fake beer barrels. Also, there are TVs hanging at the corner playing sports channel and live music singing American pop songs in the background. The atmosphere is chill and happy like in a slightly higher class sports bar. I met my classmate from the business school Beanca there after her work. We ordered the famous Pepper Sesame Fried Chicken, Fried Calamari, and Pork Quesadila with House Sauce. All of them were amazing pairing up with my honey beer! This place is definitely a great friday dinner spot for gatherings and drinks.
Beanca and I were chatting nonstop about missing lives in Seattle, the pho place on the Ave, Foster Business School, and so on! What a great night to catch up!



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