Muji will add two more stores in Singapore by the end of this year, parent company Ryohin Keikaku told Marketing. Including the one coming up at the Jewel Changi Airport, the expansion will see Muji’s number of outlets go up to 13. The firm also has plans to double its average outlet size to 18,000 sq ft at its existing stores.
Comparing to the 7,000 product capacity in its stores in Japan, Muji president Satoru Matsuzaki said in an interview with The Straits Times that Singapore, at 4,000, has room to grow. According to him, the extra space will be used to hold activities such as workshops and may also include cafes similar to the one at Muji’s flagship store in Plaza Singapura. “Sales have been growing in Singapore especially in the last three years. It has been steady,” said Matsuzaki.
The key for Muji’s success in a world of shopping is providing an experience for consumers beyond what would just be a routine purchase. One example is its use of natural elements such as wood and soil to frame the design of every store.
However, Muji is still leveraging digital spaces to complement physical stores. Its Muji Passport phone app, which is currently available in countries such as Japan and China, is expected to reach Singapore next year. Users can shop, receive notifications about new products, and earn loyalty points on the app. Matsuzaki said, “It is less about online shopping and more about feeling the loyalty to the brand through the app.”
To create an end-to-end solution for consumers, Muji may also develop a payment system similar to e-wallets such as GrabPay. Matsuzaki said that if technologies such as e-payment can boost efficiency, staff will have more time to attend to the customers.
Recently, Muji had filed a lawsuit against IUIGA for trademark infringement and claiming that its products come from “MUJI same manufacturer” and are “direct from MUJI manufacturer”. To this, IUIGA had maintained that the company has done “nothing wrong”.
(Photo courtesy: muji.com)