Fresh off a Bay Area expansion that brought four new stores to the region, clothing retailer Uniqlo is offering a new smartphone app and free transportation to lure consumers during the height of the holiday shopping season.

The Japanese retailer, known for its high-tech fabrics and simple but bold-colored styles, has launched a new app for mobile shoppers that includes features to browse and purchase clothes as well as recipes, hairstyle ideas and personal style suggestions.

The company is also offering shoppers free shuttle rides from various San Francisco neighborhoods to the store on Powell Street -- Uniqlo's first Bay Area location, which opened last year. Rides are available Thursdays through Sundays through the holiday season. Contact the store for shuttle route details.

Uniqlo has 17 stores in the U.S., with the most recent Bay Area additions this fall at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Bay Street in Emeryville, Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo and Stonestown Galleria in western San Francisco. The company recently named Lawrence Meyer, the longtime chief operating officer, to head the U.S. stores as chief executive officer. Uniqlo, which is part of Japan-based Fast Retailing Group, the world's fourth-largest apparel retail company, plans to open about 20 U.S. stores every year through 2020.

Contact Heather Somerville at 510-208-6413. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.