We've been excited about the first U.S. store from MUJI since March. This Friday at noon, the Japanese retailer (whose full name Mujirushi Ryōhin, translates to "No Brand Quality Goods") will open its SoHo location at 455 Broadway. We got to tour the store last week for a quick peek as workers were getting it ready.


The store is 2,000 square feet, with products ranging from its popular stationery line to cooking utensils and furniture, as well as clothing, and pricing range from under a dollar (for ink pen components) to hundreds (furniture). Some things are missing, like MUJI's food line, which isn't being sold due to regulatory issues. And a fun fact: The clothing has been readjusted to account for "American" sizes.

We asked MUJI U.S.A. President Hiroyoshi Azami a few questions about MUJI's entry into the U.S. market. The SoHo location was selected because of its traffic patterns and the diversity of a potential customer base. Regarding the products' American reception, Mr. Azami said, "MUJI product is modest and plain so that people can adapt itself to their lifestyles, preferences and practices. This is one of the major reason why MUJI is accepted universally. I believe this is the case in the U.S. and MUJI products will be accepted and embraced by many people." And yes, more MUJI stores are being planned.

And Mr. Azami's favorite products? The furniture and fabrics - and he believes the "Pocket Coil Mattress with Legs” and “Mold Urethane Sofa” will be the "big hits with New Yorkers." A location in the NY Times building, rumored to be around 5,000 square feet, will open next year, possibly in the spring.

The first 500 customers at MUJI on Friday will receive a MUJI "My Bag," a plain tote - which will also be given out over the weekend) plus a gift. The tote is a way for MUJI to encourage environmentally friendly shopping, and starting on Monday, November 19, the bag will cost $1. And starting in January, there will also be upcoming Muji "My Bag" Shopping nights, where customers get a 15% discount.