Tuesday, 3 March 2009

MUJI History Their first retail outlet - part 2

In the June of 1983 MUJI made the planned move to opening one of it's very own stores. As previously planned the store was opened in one of the fashion hotspots of Japan Aoyama. The double-storey store was designed by Ikko Tanaka and Takashi Sugimot and immediately became a talking point with it receiving a large about of media coverage. The store was the perfect spoke person for the MUJI way. incorporating the new and old ways of Japanese culture. The external walls of the store were built from red tiles which were popular from the Meiji period. The internal floorboards and shelving were all produced from recycled materials, having been collected from the knocked down buildings in Shinshuu.    

Crucially the store became popular by youngsters and the creative classes who understood and believed in MUJI's low prices and high quality offering. Within the first year the Aoyama store smashed predicted sales by ten times it's target. In the first year it produced a sales revenue of 120 million yen. along with the success of the store MUJI had now increased it's product range to a staggering 720. Both of these factors had finally brought proof that the MUJI concept could compete even in the then heavily 'branded' product market. Through opening it's own stores up MUJI could control everything from displays through to retail costs and through a gradual reduction of supplying to supermarkets and an increase in setting up their own specialist store MUJI for the first time could call of the shots.

Although MUJI had become firmly established it was not until 1989 that the Mujirushi Ryohin Division of the Seiyu parted from the Seiyu supermarket system and was officially founded as Ryohin Keikaku Co. Ltd. The timing of this separation was significant for the 1990's was starting to see a reaction within Japan and also worldwide against heavily branded goods. People had become weary of luxury items and paying over the top prices for items that were no better than others, and had merely been overly 'styled'. In the early 1990's some people were wanting to move away from these extravagant lifestyles and were more and more looking for simplicity within their lives. MUJI fitted these ideals perfectly, and through this new found popularity began to expand beyond Japan.  

1 comment:

zane said...

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