Uniqlo is a low price rather stylish clothing company that, if you don't know by now, you probably will soon. They've been a certain kind of phenomenon in New York since they landed in Soho a couple years ago. Now they're set for expansion across America. There is an excellent article about them in New York Magazine.
They're from Japan. I don't know if that fact — that they're from the same country as Toyota — has some influence, but they have some key similarities to the car maker. They use operations to drive sales. They have lean style systems to make, buy, stock and sell clothes. They experiment and expect to have lots of failures. They have open book management — every employee can see the sales every day, down to the number of each item sold. They also have a freaky clone army approach, which, when you read about it, may give you the heebie jeebies.
In the end, the article is mostly fun, especially if you are interested in fashion. But it's got some good ideas to steal for anyone who manages operations, too.
Full disclosure: I am a fan. I'm not going to lie, their stuff is pretty good.
Link to the full article here.