MUJI, Canada’s favourite Japanese retail store, has officially reopened in Toronto. Known at MUJI Atrium, it is now the largest MUJI store outside of Asia. Located at 595 Bay Street, it has two floors covering more than 19,000 square feet.
As a flagship store, it will have special features only offered at other MUJI flagship stores, such as a coffee counter, an aroma bar, and MUJI Yourself, a digital printing service where you can print images directly onto your purchases and a laser engraving service.
It will also be the only MUJI location in Eastern Canada to sell the MUJI Labo collection, maternity wear, their new activewear collection, books, and made-to-order curtains and rugs.
Another unusual trademark featured at the main entrance of the store is the chandelier composed of various MUJI products.
MUJI is well-known for its tremendous selection of consumer and household items. This includes furniture, clothing, fabrics, appliances, shoes, decor, luggage, shoes, and home fragrances.
MUJI’s first shop in Canada opened in downtown Toronto in 2014. This original store has now transformed into MUJI Atrium.
“During these four years since we expanded to Canada, we opened seven additional stores and gradually increased our range of products and services,” Toru Akita, president of MUJI Canada said in a press release. “By allowing us to reach out to more people and to further convey our philosophy, the Atrium flagship store will open a new chapter for MUJI in Canada.”
While U.S. retailers in Canada have closed up shop, popular Japanese retailers like MUJI and Uniqlo are making a splash. Uniqlo opened its second location in suburban Vancouver, and both chains are committed to opening additional stores in Canada.
In 2016, Uniqlo opened its first Canadian store, 33,400 square feet, at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. Its second store, 30,000 square feet, opened one month later at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. A third store in the GTA will open shortly. Its new store in the Vancouver area a 12,800 square foot space in Surrey, opened last Friday.
Even though Uniqlo had just opened a 20,630 square foot space in nearby Burnaby in October 2017, there were still huge lineups to get in. This spring, the company will open a third store in the Vancouver area at CF Richmond Centre.
According to Uniqlo Founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo is planning to open 100 stores in Canada.
Before the flagship Toronto opening, MUJI’s largest store in the GTA, at 6,800 square feet, was at the recently launched store at Scarborough Town Centre. MUJI expects to operate between 15 and 20 stores in Canada by 2020, including stores beyond the Toronto and Vancouver areas, including Montreal.
Other Japanese retailers are expected to enter the Canadian market, including Japanese footwear brand ASICS, which opened its Canadian flagship store on Queen Street West in Toronto. More ASICS stores are expected to follow.
In addition, variety retailer Miniso plans to open 500 stores in Canada, and another Japanese dollar store will open soon. This is all happening as Canadian retailers face reduced sales with this new competition. While it appears that leasing retail space is difficult in Canada, some brands still plans to expand their presence.
Featured Image: Instagram/@mujicanada