Despite earlier opening date confusion, we’re here to tell you that Muji’s open. The name may mean little to most, but that’s almost the point. The full name, Mujirushi Ryohin, translates as “no label, quality goods”, and the chain famous for its unbranded, minimalist stationary, toiletries, kitchenware, furniture and clothing has finally landed in Shanghai after almost a year of changed dates and press releases.
Except, of course, for the clothing problem. Those familiar with the chain’s Japanese origins, or expansions in France and Hong Kong, are perhaps already thinking of a nice pair of socks or an un-logoed t-shirt. Though Shanghaiist hates to hide bad news inside good, it’s true, Muji Shanghai won’t be selling any of those sweet sandals, at least not for a while. It seems that Jet Best Investment Ltd., the famous Hong Kong clothing firm, registered the Muji trademark in 1995 for 25 clothing and footwear items. Ryohin Keikaku, the Japanese company behind Muji, has filed suit, but since the filing occured in 2002, Shanghaiist isn’t optimistic for a quick resolution.
Muji’s tri-lingual (at least as far as we could test them) staff seem to have gotten the excellent Japanese training routine, and the store’s newly revamped spot on Nanjing Xi Lu above the Shimen Yi Lu subway station east exit and Starbucks, is a pretty good fit. For those wondering how Muji’s reasonable prices translated into Chinese, the answer is the old straight conversion, leaving this ring of note cards, 74 yen in Japan, costing 7 kuai here in Shanghai. Meaning? Until Shanghaiist goes back to working for the Japanese, Muji visits will be restricted to necessities, like the excellent rough brown paper envelopes. Clothing can wait, and thanks to Muji’s own site, we know that when it gets here, it’ll be just what we remembered, ’cause “Muji does not pander to trends or designer ideosyncracies.” Cut that down, and you’ve got the money tag line:
Muji does not pander.
Muji, 863 Nanjing Xi Lu, 2F (南京西路 863号 2楼). Phone: 6267-3837.
Photo by flame in sky.