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Will other Asian retailers follow Muji’s move into hospitality?

02/26/2018| 5:56:26 PM|

China is one of Muji’s biggest foreign market and the company aims to open another 360 locations in the country by 2021.

The first Muji hotel opened in Shenzhen last month, and it has two other properties lined up for launch in Beijing and Tokyo later this year and next. 

The strategy to open first in China points to how Muji is prioritizing important offshore markets, says Naoko Iwanaga, JLL Japan’s Research Manager.

China is one of Muji’s biggest foreign market and the company aims to open another 360 locations in the country by 2021.

Muji’s blurring of the lines between retail and hospitality doesn’t just take experiential shopping to a new level in Asia, as big brands look to encourage consumers to interact and build relationships with their brands in new ways. Its hospitality ambitions also bring a new edge to the Asian hotel market, where the focus is increasingly on out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Muji’s minimalist brand philosophy also fits well with changing traveler preferences, which have evolved beyond traditional luxury hotels to craving something simpler and unique. For fans of the brand, the hotel offers a memorable way to step inside the Muji world and interact with its products in a way that’s not possible in a traditional retail store.

Yet the potential entry of more retailers-turned-hospitality players won’t cause too much concern for traditional hotel groups operating in Asia. “There’s already plenty of competition in the market,” says Atsushi Murai, Vice President of Investment Sales Asia, JLL. “As all good hotels know, they can keep their guests loyal by ensuring they’re providing the best experience possible – from top class service and facilities to quality food and unique design features.”

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TAGS: Muji | hotel
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