We’re all excited to hear the news that in spring of 2019 MUJI is planning to open a hotel in Ginza, Tokyo, one of worldly known luxury shopping area in Japan. MUJI has very simplistic design and what they make usually come in neutral colors which I believe started attracting even more people as minimalistic approach to life has been gaining more recognition. (Marie Kondo who invented ‘the konmari method’ or Joshua Becker from ‘becomingminimalist.com’ or Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus from ‘theminimalists.com’. There are many people talking about more simplistic and minimalistic way of living. Mind you, yes, it is a way of living.)
MUJI products originated in 1980 to create quality products at low price. The basis of their product development is to create products that are truly fundamental to day-to-day life without any unnecessary complexity. To achieve this, they take a second look at often neglected materials, streamline the production process, and simplify packaging to create simple and beautiful products that people would cherish for years.
MUJI Around the World
MUJI opened their first store overseas in London in July 1991 and Shanghai the following fall. They have gained certain level of popularity by Japanese audience till then, but in overseas they experienced brutal fail of over ten years of being in deficit in UK and even withdrawal in China. But ever since then, they have turned the table around. They have restructured their business to aim more profit and take back marketing activities in their own hand. In fact, they don’t really do large PR campaign overseas any more. They believe they are capable to delivering more accurate corporate image to the public by selling high quality products at a right price point than to spend money on any series of campaigns. Today thanks to the artists and local influencers acting as ambassadors of MUJI products in each region of the world, their sales revenue is growing yearly and the sales went up by 11.0% compared to the year before in the first quarter (Feb – May) of fiscal year 2018.
MUJI Hotel in China
Almost half of MUJI’s sales revenue is from Eastern Asia and they especially see Chinese market as their strong point as the sales shows rapid growth. To follow their faith in Chinse market, they announced they’ll be launching their first hotel in Shenzhen, China in the end of this year. They’re planning to have 79 guest rooms fit in a commercial building using two floors and also to have books store and a café.
Shenzhen was the very first Special Economic Zone in China and many technology related companies reside and is also close to Shanghai where a lot of tourists visit. The rooms will be furnished with MUJI brand products under the concept ‘simple’.
MUJI Hotel Ginza
What is their hotel in Ginza going to be like? Although there exist three flagship stores in the world, MUJI plans to build the biggest store in Ginza using a whole 10 stories building. It will also accommodate MUJI Diner, too. This MUJI store in Tokyo will not only be the largest in the world, but also a place where they present the whole life style of MUJI brand
MUJI originally started as Mujirushi-Ryohin in Japan. ‘Mujirushi’ means no marking or no logo. ‘Ryohin’ means good quality. The products are designed to fit the style of users, while some designs are sometimes created to give special focal point in the environment or to accentuate user’s style. MUJI brand reminds us that it is all right not to want designers in order to look and live stylish. Their approach to style reminds us that it is all right for us to go back to basic and start building our own unique style.
More Than Just A Hotel
Most of us have a place to live and come back to every day. We decorate the place in order for us to make it more comfortable and functional. No matter how many or little we own, we like to bring in something of a sort to make the empty space feel more personal. But have you ever thought about how those things could be defining us? Instead of us defining ourselves. And possibly them owning us instead of us owning them, because we sometimes spend more time caring for them than enjoying them.
This could be one reason why we are so hyped about going away on vacations. To get away from it all, some would say. My point, exactly! Many of us enjoy getting away from the job we worked so hard to get first and from the place we spend fair amount of time and money trying to create cozy atmosphere. We often feel great amount of relief when put in a hotel room where there is absolutely nothing to clutter our mind. Doesn’t it tell us something?
When the spring comes, think about going to stay at MUJI Hotel in Ginza. It is sure to give you a break from cleaning and caring for the piles of stuffs we’ve collected. It may just as well work as mental spa to spend some time in MUJI designed simple space where ‘you’ become the center of your world. Or would we be attempted to buy something from their store before leaving the place? Oh, well… But always remember that happiness and richness do not have to come from things.