The famous Japanese store MUJI has finally arrived in New Delhi at the Select Citywalk Mall in Saket, a few months after having opened their outlets in Mumbai and Bangalore last year. The Japanese firm Ryohin Keikaku entered in a JV with Reliance Brand last year, becoming the first Japanese retail firm to have earned the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board under the FDI scheme. Under this regulation, it will not be able to open its MUJI Cafes, but has permission for only retail and distribution. The president of Ryohin Keikaku, Mr Satoru Matsuzaki attended the opening of the Delhi outlet. Also present was the CEO of MUJI India, Mr Seiji Hamanishi.
Delhi is undoubtedly the Nation’s capital of bling, well known for its obsession with brands and over-the-top glitz. Muji is sans any attempt at branding or standing out. None of the Muji products carry a label. The clock face is bereft of the brand’s name. The opening of the 5000 sqft MUJI store was accompanied with a pop-up exhibition in the central area of the Select Citywalk Mall, with a display of its popular iconic product. The zone was a study in understatement. A large white wall addressed the curiosity about ‘What is MUJI’, and explains its ethos, which has made it a most desired and admired name globally. Read here the excerpts.
‘MUJI’s origin was a thorough rationalization of the manufacturing process with an eye to creating simple, low-cost, good quality products, re-examining products through three lenses: material selection, inspection process and packaging simplification. For instance, if you omit the bleaching process for pulp, the resulting paper is light beige in colour. MUJI used this paper for its packaging and labels. The ensuing products are remarkably pure and fresh. In notable contrast to the prevailing over-embellished products in the marketplace, MUJI’s products both won great appreciation and sent shock waves not only through Japan but across the entire world.
This is because MUJI does not make objects to entice responses of strong affinity, like, “This is what I really want”, or, “I must have this”. MUJI’s goal is to give customers a rational satisfaction, expressed not with, “This is what I really want” (which expresses both faint egoism and discord), but with “This will do”, which expresses conciliatory reasoning. In fact, it may even incorporate resignation and a little dissatisfaction. MUJI’s goal is to sweep away that slight dissatisfaction and raise the level of the response. “This will do” to one filled with clarity and confidence.
MUJI’s products, born from an extremely rational manufacturing process, are succinct, but they are not in the minimalist style. Simplicity and emptiness yield the ultimate universality, embracing the feelings and thoughts of all people.’
All of 7000 items at the 700 MUJI stores around the world stock the same produce ranging from clothing, stationary, household goods, cosmetics, food etc. The foundation and ideology of MUJI has not changes since it was founded in 1980.
The Luxury Chronicle spoke at length with Seiji San, who is very hopeful of a great response from its Delhi outlet. The Indian stores do not as yet stock food items, due to regulatory issues. He pointed out that as a signature; all MUJI stores have a wall each of wood, clay and concrete. The Delhi store additionally had the ball behind the check-out counter covered in black printing blocks.