Business / Corporate

First on-campus Muji store to open at university in Tokyo

by Masumi Koizumi

Staff Writer

The first on-campus Muji store will open on Thursday at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, featuring a selection of the brand’s regular daily merchandise, a cafe and a workshop.

Masaaki Kanai, chairman of Ryohin Keikaku Co., gives a speech at a new Muji store at the Musashino Art University's Ichigaya campus in Tokyo. | MASAMI KOIZUMI
Masaaki Kanai, chairman of Ryohin Keikaku Co., gives a speech at a new Muji store at the Musashino Art University’s Ichigaya campus in Tokyo. | MASAMI KOIZUMI

The store on the university’s Ichigaya campus, a few minutes’ walk from Ichigaya Station, is a space “that is for the university students and local residents,” Masaaki Kanai, chairman of operator Ryohin Keikaku Co., said Wednesday. The location marks Muji’s first collaboration with a university.

The “Open Market” space at the store is run by the university and may one day offer “prototype services born out of university classes and cooperation with the local area,” said store manager Atsushi Ito.

The 265-square-meter sales floor handles food, beverages, lifestyle products and books. The “com Studio” space lets customers enjoy workshops where they can decorate Muji products with recycled materials such as corks and sponges. A 309-square-meter cafe within the store has a menu that includes a ¥600 butter chicken curry and a ¥800 daily special set.

The Muji store's section called 'com Studio' provides recycled materials like corks and sponges for customers so they can create original items. | MASUMI KOIZUMI
The Muji store’s section called ‘com Studio’ provides recycled materials like corks and sponges for customers so they can create original items. | MASUMI KOIZUMI

Alcoholic beverages like beer and wine are also on offer, while ¥100 coffee is available at a machine. The cafe space could also be used for events.

Ito said that the company is searching for ways to get students involved in the business. But the first step is to encourage them to come to the store and “use the cafe and other spaces.”

The university may, for instance, help update the “com Studio” space by capitalizing on their creativity, he said. A possible collaboration could include the university coming up with ideas for workshops, with Muji providing materials, he said.

The store’s business direction is still unclear, he said, but that means there is much room for change.

“I think the store holds potential,” Ito said.

The store will be open between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.