Muji heads to India

Japanese minimalist retailer Muji will open its first stores in India by the middle of next year.

Muji has sealed a deal with Reliance Industries to create an Indian operation, becoming Reliance’s 19th international retail brand.

Muji’s news comes as fellow Japanese retailer Uniqlo is in discussions with potential partners to enter India.

Renowned for its unbranded, minimalist designs, Muji stores stock goods ranging from apparel and homewares to stationery, cosmetics and food. About half its sales are now furniture and homewares.

In some markets it operates cafes, but current regulations prohibit in-store cafes in India.

Reliance says the first Muji stores will open in Delhi and Mumbai with footprints ranging from 6000 sqft to 10,000 sqft.

“Muji is simplicity – but simplicity achieved through a complexity of thought and design,” said Reliance CEO and president Darshan Mehta in a statement.

“Their products are extremely high-quality and have been designed to cater to the lifestyle of urban dwellers. We have great confidence that the Indian consumer will embrace the brand.”

“International expansion is of utmost priority for us and India is our next big Asian market with immense growth potential,” Satoru Matsuzaki, president and representative director of Muji parent Ryohin Keikaku, in an email interview with the Times of India.

“We believe there is a significant pool of cosmopolitan consumers [in India] who have their own sense of style and who place product above brand logos.”

Reliance Brands already partners with Diesel, Brooks Brothers, Steve Madden and Kenneth Cole, among others.


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