Mr. Mitsuhiro Amagiri, Deputy Store Manager of MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS / Ms. Miwako Mae, Department Manager of MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS

MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS, which embraced its grand opening on Friday, May 14, is a store in the Kanto region with a large-scale sales floor specializing in food under the theme of "Thanks to those who eat. Thanks to the people who produce.” It is promoting initiatives under the four themes of "food and agriculture," "resource recycling," "lifestyle support," and "urban development," and hopes to be a useful presence in people's lives through the resolution of regional and social issues. In this interview, we spoke with Mr. Amagiri, Deputy Store Manager of MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS, and Ms. Mae, Department Manager of the store.

■“Thanks to those who eat. Thanks to the people who produce”
 MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS aims to further develop MUJI's present food initiatives, and to become a place that not only conveys the thoughts of producers, but also creates connections and exchanges between people so that the voices of customers can reach the producers. The sales floor, which boasts the largest area in the Kanto region, has a 7 meters square kitchen counter as the navel of the store, where daily recipes are distributed and useful information is sent out.

■A new sales floor through collaboration
 MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS handles fresh produce, meat and fresh fish (usually referred to as “the three fresh food categories”), and we had many difficulties selecting a partner and then discussing ideas to meet mutual expectations. For example, when sharing the concept, we had to adjust the communication gap caused by differences in organizational structure. MUJI's sales promotion materials conveyed the reason for the products in a simple design, while Queen's Isetan's promotion materials conveyed their particular products in a design that would catch the eye of customers. We have different ways of thinking about even a single sales promotion, and we spent a lot of time matching each other's ideas in order to preserve the good points. We would like to keep communicating with each other to raise the level of both parties and build a better sales floor environment.

■Things that can only be done by Ryohin Keikaku
 We started by making appointments by phone with each department in Yokohama City to present our ideas related to the four themes we needed to tackle: resource recycling, food and agriculture, lifestyle support, and urban development. Fortunately, many people were interested in our proposals, and the number of departments that wanted to hear our story gradually increased. What we were particularly conscious of was to provide each department with attractive content that would make them want to work with us. Based on the MUJI concept, we pays special attention to not only “what we can do,” but “what kind of things can only be achieved by Ryohin Keikaku.” As a result, the city of Yokohama also felt the significance of our cooperation and we were able to conclude an initial partnership agreement.
 In order to make our efforts widely known to the citizens, we aimed to conclude the agreement at the time of the grand opening, which would be a newsworthy event, and it was also significant that we were able to share this idea with the city of Yokohama.

■A "Town Kitchen" where everyone gathers
 As the first store in the Kanto region specializing in food, we wanted to create a place for communication with our customers. We want MUJI KONANDAI BIRDS itself to become the "kitchen of the town," with the image that families naturally gather in the kitchen when they start preparing food at home. As we provide demonstrations of different menus every day, we have customers who come every day. In the future, we will also deliver information about our efforts with producers and the local administration from the kitchen counter.
 In addition, we are planning to invite specialists from Nakajima Suisan to talk about the fresh fish that came in that day, and tell customers about the best seasonal ingredients and how to recognize the best taste, under the title of ”Today's Best Fish.”