Muji opens first S-E Asia flagship store
Highlights of Muji Plaza Singapura, which spans 1,640 sq m, include Found Muji, Open Muji and Idee products
With Japanese lifestyle brand Muji planning to open two new stores here every year, Singaporeans can expect it to become part of their everyday life.
According to Mr Satoru Matsuzaki, president and representative director of Ryohin Keikaku, popularly known asMuji, since the first Muji store opened here in 2003, the country has been the best performing market of all other South-east Asian countries.
That is why it was natural to launch Muji's first flagship store in South-east Asia here.Muji Plaza Singapura will span 1,640 sq m.
Mr Matsuzaki told The New Paper at its opening yesterday: "The country's market and gross domestic product have been stable throughout the years. Furthermore, we are aware that Singaporeans love shopping, which is why we decided to introduce new concepts from Japan."
Two new stores - one in the heartland and one in the city - are likely to open next year.
Muji now has 11 stores islandwide.
Mr Matsuzaki, 63, added that he wants this flagship to be a "proxy store" he can showcase to the world.
He said: "After the brand reached Singapore's shores, we were approached by the Middle Eastern countries and India for collaboration.
"They said they wanted to have a Muji store in their country too."
While the concepts may be from Japan, Mr Matsuzaki said the company tried to localise the flagship by sourcing for decorative ornaments such as Chinese strainers, which are only available here.
He said: "An open community space for sharing ideas, OpenMuji, which will house workshops, galleries, exhibitions and talks, is a concept brought in from Japan, but the content will be created by locals themselves."
The flagship will also feature never-before-seen design elements, and will also be home to the third Cafe&MealMuji, which can seat 70 diners.
Mr Matsuzaki said two menu items - pork katsu donburi and cheese-baked butter curry chicken rice - are available only in Singapore.
He is also expecting a double-digit growth across all Muji stores in Singapore this year.
...We are aware that Singaporeans love shopping,which is why we decided to introduce new concepts from Japan.Mr Satoru Matsuzaki , president and representative director of Ryohin Keikaku, popularly known as Muji
"The sales turnover rate was between 5 per cent and 9 per cent last year, but with the new addition of the flagship, we are expecting it to increase to 10 per cent to 20 per cent this year."
Some of the flagship's highlights include FoundMuji, Open Muji and Idee.
This month, Found Muji will introduce products such as intricately handwoven rugs and braided baskets.
Then there is furniture line Idee, which offers sophisticated household items, including crafts and independent elements, such as one-off arts and craft pieces and handmade furniture.
When asked how Muji will enhance the shopping experience at Plaza Singapura, the mall's centre manager June Ang said that since it is the largest Muji store, shoppers can explore product lines and services that are exclusively available there.
She told TNP: "Shoppers can touch, try on and interact with a wide range of goods before making a purchase. Muji's focus on innovation, experiential retailing and community engagement will add greater variety to our current offerings."
Ms Ang added that the mall is excited to see how it can collaborate with Muji to deepen engagement with shoppers, and it is already exploring tie-ups with Muji to reach out to different communities, such as those from the arts and design field as well as children with special needs.