Japanese lifestyle retailer Muji unveiled its 10th Singapore store at Raffles City yesterday, a nearly $2 million investment which also houses its second cafe here.
Satoru Matsuzaki, president and representative director of Muji's parent company Ryohin Keikaku, told My Paper that the 10,600 sq ft store is "a turning point" for the company which is anticipating more growth.
The outlet, on the second floor at Raffles City, sells clothes, household and lifestyle items as well as baby and kids' wear.
It also helps shoppers customise material, design, size and colour for fabrics such as curtains, sofa covers and rugs.
The Cafe&Meal Muji is the second here after the first, a 52-seater, opened at Paragon shopping mall last September.
Raffles City's 70-seater features fare similar to the first Muji&Meal's, such as deli sets from $7.80 to $16.90.
Other than a common taste for Japanese food, Muji's appeal to Singaporeans lies in its simplicity, said Mr Matsuzaki.
He added that a common trait that both the Japanese and Singaporeans have is the pride they take in their work.
"Also, we are both geographically small countries so we prefer standardising," he said.
Asked about expansion plans here, he added that Muji intends to open about two new stores a year, till it reaches its "ultimate goal of 15".
However, he stressed that it was not numbers it was seeking but quality products that could be incorporated into one's lifestyle.
It is also looking to upsize some stores, including providing more space for books, renovation, health and beauty.
It also hopes to rope in a smartphone app called Muji Passport, a customer loyalty programme which it has rolled out in Japan and China.
Speaking about the challenges in Singapore, Mr Matsuzaki said costs of rent and labour are high, and that it is also affected by currency fluctuations.
Still, the company will invest here as "we see Singapore as a hub of the ASEAN and Middle-East market showcasing our concepts".
Muji, which has over 300 stores worldwide in places such as Britain, Germany and Hong Kong, will open its first outlet in India next month.
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