If you haven’t yet heard: Muji is filing for bankruptcy.
Yes, the Japanese brand that practically introduced the minimalist aesthetic to the world is struggling to find its balance amidst a worsening global pandemic. While the stirs of panic at the news has hit channels worldwide, let us set the record straight: it is Muji’s American outlets that are readying to close for now.
Muji US CEO Satoshi Okazaki filed a Chapter 11 for bankruptcy protection in Delaware over the weekend, citing COVID-19 as the main incentive for the motion. Liabilities are listed between US$50 million to S$100 million, owed to creditors that could number 999.
Apart from bankruptcy protection, a number of stores will be shut down across the country, following the 18 Muji outlets have already been shuttered. The brand does, however, plan to retain its e-commerce presence in the States.
For those equating Muji US’ losses with Muji Japan and its Asian counterparts, we’d say there’s little need to jump to panic mode just yet. Parent company Ryohin Keikaku asserts that it is only its US stores facing losses that require these drastic cuts. Ryohin Keikaku seems to be in poor form in the US for now, as their other labels, the J Crew Group and Brooks Brothers, have also similarly filed for bankruptcy protection.
Okazaki has stressed that this, by no means, will affect its stores in other territories. So, for now, rest easy and take comfort in cardboard backed notebooks, immaculately stacked storage boxes, and hinoki-scented reed diffusers because Muji Singapore will not be going anywhere.
All photos credited to Muji.