Does New York need another Muji?
How many branches of Muji does a city need? Once you’ve seen the no-brand clothing and homewares offer in one store, surely it’s much the same in another?
Up to a point perhaps, but as the latest store to open in New York shows (it is the eighth in the city) there are differences and the brand is not just about Japanese severe and plain design. The store is on Manhattan’s 59th Street, meaning that it is the retailer’s first store in the uptown area (just) and at around 11,000 sq ft on a single floor, it is a thing of considerable stature.
More to the point, this store is about services that complement the merchandise with embroidery, engraving and interiors advice all on hand for those requiring something extra or to turn purchases into something semi-bespoke.
Worth noting too is the fact that as this is the third largest Muji in the US, it is of sufficient size to merit a café which, like the rest of the store, is clad in reclaimed timber, giving the space a rustic, authentic feel.
The answer to the question of the number of Muji branches therefore is, more than might be imagined, given the localised shopping patterns of native New Yorkers.