Shoppers who disdain overpriced brands and wasteful packaging can look forward to a new alternative in Canada.
Japanese retailer Muji, known for its “no-brand” philosophy, has expanded into New York and L.A., and now it plans to open some seven locations in Canada over the next five years, according to a report at Reuters.
And it’s taking the exact opposite approach to Target’s expansion into Canada; instead of dozens of stores opening all at once, the chain plans to open stores one at a time.
“Opening one store a year may be a realistic goal because we want to open (each) new location carefully," said Toru Tsunoda, president of Muji Canada.
The company has had an online presence in Canada for several years, and had previously announced it would be opening several stores in Toronto, but the chain is now eyeing Vancouver and other Canadian cities for future expansion locations.
Muji has built strong customer loyalty around an image of environmental friendliness and a rejection of major brand names and wasteful packaging.
The company's leadership appears to be worried about some of the same problems that plagued Target upon arrival, including the tendency of Canadian shoppers to compare prices with the U.S., where Muji now has a presence.
Costs are higher in Canada and to keep prices low, "we may have to squeeze profit margins," Tsunoda said, warning this could slow the chain’s expansion into Canada.
Muji in Canada will offer about 2,800 items for sale, compared to 3,500 items in U.S. stores and more than 7,000 in Japan, Reuters reports.
The more limited selection means Canadians may not see some of the retailer’s more specialized items, but here are some popular Muji products that could soon be on Canadian shelves: