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Muji Breaks Danish Ground in Illum

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If you were a cross-border retailer looking to break into a new market, would you choose to open your first shop in the interior of another? Probably not, yet that is what Japanese no-brand outfit Muji has chosen to do as it opens its first store in Denmark.

The store measures 1960 sq m and is actually on the fourth floor of that grandest of Copenhagen stores, Illum. And there is actually a reason for doing this. Space of this magnitude in a city centre is pretty hard to come by and llum is that rare beast in these times, a department store that shoppers regard as a must-visit.

For Muji this means a space most of whose walls it has covered in ‘eco-plaster’ – a rendering that uses recycled materials and one in which the mid-shop is decked out with wood that has previously done service elsewhere. All this and a tea room, the first of its kind for the retailer in Europe.

Illum is a home of Scandi design, which also happens to chime nicely with Muji’s Japanese aesthetic.