Muji Promotes Calm in Shanghai
Large stores from no brand Muji are a commonplace, but only in a very small and select group of countries and all of them are in East Asia.
The latest to see the light of day, it’s been open just over a month, is the Japanese retailer’s third branch in Shanghai. Muji ‘Umax’ measures just shy of 3,300 sq m and includes a 108 sq m shop-in-shop called Muji Infill where shoppers can get a sense of how to give their homes a ‘reset’, courtesy of staff and computers.
While this is a very large store it is, effectively, a series of small shops under a single roof with very clear departmental division. All of it is united, however, by the store’s theme, “Urban Forest”. This means that the material palette, consisting largely of stone and wood, gives a sense of a whole, in spite of the fact that there are things as diverse as a kid’s playground and a bookshop.
And as in almost every Muji store of scale anywhere, it is the visual merchandising, in an interior that has the appearance of completely repurposed materials, that takes the breath away. This may be a store in China’s hyper-busy commercial capital, but it feels zen throughout.