Muji is a Japan design institution. The retail company presents its newly remodelled flagship store in Tokyo transformed into a produce market and coffee shop.
Muji, the newest project
The new Mujiproject in Tokyo is located in the Yurakucho area of the éliteGinza neighbourhood. Founded in ’79, Muji is a retail company that produces a vast array of home goods with a whopping 250 branches in in 24 countries outside of Japan; additionally it manages over 300 branded sales points. The name means “no-logo”, and sums up the entire brand’s philosophy, which is based on minimalism and clean-cut design, reducing waste and promoting recycling. The original flagship store in Tokyo was the starting point for the company’s intense research on contemporary design. It now reopens its doors in a completely different offer. The store in fact is now the beating heart of the vibrant city centre: a produce market. The market developed on two floors, sells fresh, local and seasonal produce. In the market visitors can admire a scale model of the Muji Hut, one of the company’s most successful projects – a prefab micro-home built in in poured concrete, untreated cypress plywood and concrete floors.
The goal of this project is “stimulating consumers to question origin of foods, pushing them to rethink their approach to food”, Muji executives explained. “Among life’s fundamental daily needs, with clothing and home products, food is the most indispensable”. And it is precisely on this that Muji intends to focus its attention on, stressing the role of healthy eating and a balanced diet. The new market focuses on a transparent supply chain, selling only products that hail from organic farms, or from ones that limit to a minimum the use of pesticides and fertilizers. The selection of products is seasonal and includes typical Tokyo items that are often unknown outside of Japan. This was also a choice that helped promote the bountiful area’s biodiversity: “We’ll offer authentic-tasting vegetables only when Nature makes them available, even if they won’t adhere to standards of size and shape”. In addition to vegetables, there will also be fresh fruits and places where shoppers can enjoy soups, freshly baked bread, sweets and warm beverages, sold at the upper level coffee shop.
by Michela Becchi
translated by Eleonora Baldwin