This article was published on December 6th, 2018.
It was only a few weeks ago that Japanese retailer MUJI opened their largest store location outside of Asia in downtown Toronto. But, MUJI President Masaaki Kanai says the new 19,000 square-foot location near Yonge and Dundas Square is "too small" for everything the company has planned for Canada in the coming years.
Kanai told Retail Insider that Canada will be a priority when it comes to expanding MUJI's lifestyle offerings into North America. MUJI grocery stores, diner-style restaurants and hotel concepts are already operating in cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Beijing.
MUJI opened its first hotel in Shenzen, China back in January 2018. They have opened two more locations since, in Ginza and Beijing. The hotel is “designed to reflect an anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap concept" that stays true to the MUJI brand.
The 79-room MUJI hotel is chic yet simple and uses a lot of exposed wood and neutral, earthy tones, much like the design of their products and stores.
The first "Muji Diner" opened in Shangai in 2017. Canada can look forward to in-store cafes at MUJI locations across Canada.
MUJI Grocery stores have been in operation since summer 2017. Kanai says that the grocery stores are one of several MUJI concepts that the company plans to bring to Canada.
Kanai told Retail Insider that MUJI is even considering residential developments in Canada, which would be designed in MUJI's trademark minimalist style. The apartments themselves would each be a "small but highly edit-able ‘empty box’" - a concept that would likely take off in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, Canada's hub for overpriced shoebox-sized apartments.
Source: Retail Insider