26 October 2007

Muji Mania

Oh you haven't heard? You don't know Muji? The worlds most anal store? It's a fucking cult. And it's so neat and tidy and perfect and clean, you just wanna smash it, lovingly of course.

The Japanese "no brand quality goods" chain Muji, is coming to New York. Muji's first U.S. store is opening in Soho in 3 weeks. 455 Broadway will open at noon on November 16th.

Muji has been fetishized by design fanatics here in the U.S. for years. Now, with the first of what will inevitably be many U.S. outposts on the horizon, it's time to get ready for the cult.

anal-retentive: referring to a stage in Freudian Psychologys psychosexual development when the child's interest is concentrated on the anal region; fixation at this stage is said to result in orderliness, stubbornness, compulsiveness, etc. Conversationally, the term is often used to describe a person deemed to be overly obsessed with minor details. The term is often used in a derogatory sense to describe a person with such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, and can be carried out to the detriment of the so-called anal-retentive person.

Though the MoMA Design store carries a small assortment of Muji items, the new Muji shops will offer an incredibly wide range of goods: furniture, housewares, beauty, clothing and electronics.

The appeal of Muji, for those who are unfamiliar with the brand, is it's credo of “no brand quality goods”—products that are simple in design and unadorned with labels.

Muji is often compared to Target or IKEA—perhaps the two most famous purveyors of "good design" at affordable prices—but Muji takes a decidedly different tack from its much larger American and Swedish counterparts.

Muji revels in its neutrality. Almost all of its products are devoid of colour, and the most surprising and delightful aspect of their design is how nondescript and unassuming they are.

A teakettle designed for Target will likely have a visual flourish—a spinning piece of plastic on its spout, perhaps—while a Muji teakettle is content to be just what you expect a teakettle to be. Reserved, serious, simple and inimitably Japanese... and decidedly verboten as well. Nein!

Yeah, like I said before; the worlds most anal store.

Read on for the official Muji press release.

The official Muji press release:

MUJI SOHO, the first MUJI store in the US, Opens at 12 noon on November 16, 2007

New York, NY, October 25, 2007 – MUJI U.S.A. LIMITED announces its opening date, which has been set to November 16, 2007, of MUJI SOHO, the first MUJI store to open in the US. Located at 455 Broadway, (New York), MUJI SOHO will open to the public from 12 noon to 9 p.m. during its first day of operation.

With approximately 3,200 square feet of retail floor space, MUJI’s first store in the US will offer over 2,000 items of MUJI products, including about 570 items of Stationery, 40 items of Furniture, 190 items of Fabric, 590 items of Housewares, 270 items of Health & Beauty products, 20 items of Outdoor supplies, 30 items of Electric Appliances and 330 items of Apparel. After the first day of opening, the store will open regularly from 11a.m. to 9p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and 11a.m. to 8p.m. on Sundays.

The opening event MUJI is dedicated to reducing waste and conserving resources. In this spirit, MUJI encourages its customers to use “My Bag” in order to reduce waste that results from the use of paper or plastic bags at MUJI stores. The SOHO store is planning to introduce interactive events using "My Bag" to encourage environmentally friendly shopping to customers in New York City. The “My Bag” project at MUJI SOHO is scheduled as follows.

Free MUJI “My Bag” for the first three days of store opening: For its special opening event, MUJI has prepared 500 free “My Bag” give aways for the first five hundred customers who come to the store and shop on the opening day. There will be a MUJI gift inside of the bag. The store will also give away free MUJI “MY Bag” to customers who have shopped at store within these three days. MUJI “My Bag” will be offered at $1 after three days of opening.

Receive beneficial stamps by shopping with “My Bag”, starting from November 19: Every time a customer shops with MUJI “My Bag” instead of paper and/or plastic bags provided by MUJI, the MUJI store will stamp customer’s receipt as to recognize the customer as a “My Bag” shopper. When a customer collects thirty stamped receipts from MUJI SOHO store, as a reward, the customer will receive a gift. The first featured item will be “New York in the bag.” (*1.The items offered will vary by its stock conditions. *2. Store will give one stamp per shopping session. *3. This promotion will be subject to change.)

MUJI “My Bag” Shopping Nights: Bring MUJI “My Bag” and receive a 15% discount for special shopping nights. MUJI SOHO will provide a special offer to customers who shop at the store on MUJI “My Bag” shopping nights with “My Bag” will receive a 15% discount. This special shopping night will be held quarterly starting from January 2008. Detailed information will be provided at Muji.com

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