According to the Straits Times, Japanese minimalist brand Muji will open its first Café & Meal outlet in Paragon on 5 September.
The 122 sq m outlet will be next to its Muji outlet in the shopping mall, and the latter will have a revamp along with the store’s opening, said the article, adding that Muji has already rolled out cafes in Japan, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Taiwan. The café will continue its minimalist approach.
The Singapore market has traditionally been known to be a challenge for retailers, with high rentals killing several businesses.
Howver, experts say that the brand-building move could justify the rentals.
“F&B outlets are traditionally opened by non-F&B retail brands that are in out-of-the-way areas, to attract shoppers and keep them in the store. They’re used as a hook to make the trip to the store more of a leisure outing,” said Chris Martell, managing director of Geometry Global Singapore.
Muji has successfully positioned itself as a purveyor of good quality, minimalist designed household essentials, he added.
“They’re (Muji stores) typically sited in malls or high streets where there is high passing footfall. So it seems at odds that they’re using the traditional shopper encouragement lever of including a café in their store. That said, why have shoppers sat in StarBucks or a similar outlet that may not be near your store? Open a café and they will come! And Muji has a product range that you could argue the more you spend time in store the more you’ll buy,” said Martell.
(Image of Muji cafe in HK)