Simplicity meets functionality at Newbury Street’s newest store, MUJI. The Japanese retail chain’s first Boston location, which opened to the public last Friday, might just be filled with every product one would ever need.
The store’s interior maintains the minimalist aesthetic that is consistent with each of MUJI’s 700 locations worldwide. The wide variety of products are displayed with overwhelming precision, so shoppers passing through the store will not find a single item of clothing or bottle of soap out of place.
Founded in 1980, MUJI set out to redefine everyday essentials. With the marketplace full of over-embellished products, MUJI saw the opportunity to rationalize the manufacturing process by creating simple, affordable, and quality goods.
MUJI’s wide selection of products range from cosmetics to home furniture. What makes MUJI unique is that it’s a store where one can purchase all their everyday essentials in one place. The company is credited for being resource saving, affordable, and nature-oriented while still producing goods of the highest quality.
Ichigo Sugiura, a marketing and public relations associate for MUJI U.S.A., has already supervised the opening of various MUJI stores in New York and California. According to Sugiura, the company spent two years scouting for the best location in Boston to open its second flagship store in the U.S. Newbury Street’s bustling atmosphere caught its eye and, after careful analysis of the markets, the company decided to build a presence in Boston’s lively shopping district.
The store is MUJI’s first shop on the East Coast outside of New York City. Sugiura explained that a large percentage MUJI’s online sales were coming from Boston, signaling a need for a physical store.
“We carefully analyze and listen to what our customers want,” Sugiura said. “From there we knew Boston was an important area for us.”
Ahead of its anticipated launch last month, MUJI opened a pop-up shop just down the road to give Bostonians a taste for their products. The pop-up allowed those unfamiliar with the MUJI phenomenon to test and view its products before its flagship opening.
MUJI’s products have been reexamined through its material selection, inspection process, and packaging simplification. What results are products that are remarkably pure and fresh. Its company ideology hasn’t changed since its inception, as MUJI innovators continue focusing themselves on the universality of daily life, and the essential products that consumers require to navigate this life.
Its minimalistic packaging and labels have become a trademark of the brand. Sugiura described that by omitting the bleaching process of the pulp when producing paper, the result is a light-beige color which provides a clean and refined look.
The new flagship store offers visitors exclusive services which MUJI hopes will help attract residents of the Boston community. Customers can create personalized scents and diffusers at the aroma bar, or customize MUJI products at the embroidering station. In addition the store features Found MUJI, a range of recovered products refurbished to fit MUJI’s aesthetic, and MUJI LABO, a simple and practical line of clothing made from organic materials.
With the opening of the new store, the company hopes to spread their concept of lifestyle to help ease the daily life of Bostonians.
“MUJI is unlike any other store on Newbury Street, where you can shop for apparel and food items in one store,” Sugiura said.
The store is sure to make an impact on the thousands of college students living in Boston, who may choose to spruce up their dorm rooms with MUJI products instead of items from more conventional stores. Its straightforward and reliable stationary, and their sleek storage items, are expected to be a hit among students in the Boston area.
MUJI’s most popular product is the aroma diffuser. Steam is released from the diffuser, scented with MUJI’s aromatic essential oils. The diffuser’s simple design fits with the decor of any home interior. The product features three different light settings which can be altered depending on the mood of the room.
Worldwide, MUJI’s other popular items include the body-fit cushion and their skincare products. The body-fit cushion serves as a versatile beanbag and can bring a little minimalistic flair into any room. MUJI’s renowned skincare products help to nourish skin while evading the many factors contributing to skin damage
While it is too early to tell whether MUJI will open another location in Boston, Sugiura’s focus is on the store’s opening and making sure the staff are providing the same standard customer service as their other stores.
So in the meantime, Bostonians can flock to Newbury St. and explore the fresh aesthetic that MUJI has to offer.
Featured Image Courtesy of Joel Benjamin