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10 Top Innovative Companies

9. Fast Retailing
The average consumer still doesn't recognize the name Fast Retailing, but anyone who's shopped at its Uniqlo store in SoHo or bought some of its theory apparel knows there's a lot of hipster growth potential still untapped.

Fast Retailing is a 47-year-old Japanese clothing company that's the largest such chain in Asia -- more than 960 stores. It mandates that all employees speak English and write all company e-mail in english by 2012, expects the number of foreign employees to eclipse Japanese workers by 2015 and looks to expand into India, Brazil and the U.S. to grow its global presence to 4,000 stores by 2020, presenting a formidable challenge to such global competitors as H&M. The company wants to open 200 stores in the U.S. alone within the next decade and plans to hire dozens of U.S. college grads this year and send them to Japan for management training.

Granted, Uniqlo has closed seven stores here since 2007, but company revenue has also risen 15% in that time as it stuck to its eclectic mix of artists and designers and let tastes change in its favor.
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