MUJI ITABASHI MINAMICHO22 Opened
On November 17th, MUJI ITABASHI MINAMICHO22 opened in the residential area bordering Itabashi and Toshima Ward, next to a supermarket where it’s convenient for nearby residents to shop daily. MUJI ITABASHI MINAMICHO22 aims to become an essential component of residents’ daily lives, so upon designing the store, we incorporated feedback from nearby residents on their needs of products and services as well as on how the store should engage with the community.
The store is on a major road next to a supermarket in a residential area 15-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station or 10-minute walk from Kaname-cho Station. While it’s a walk from train stations, it is in a very convenient location for local customers to visit daily.
It is a four-story building with many special services not available in other stores such as 3D Printer and Ice Cream Stand on top of a wide range of products and services useful in daily life. The MUJI Kitchen has exclusive menu such as Teriyaki Burger, and Hamburg Steak Bento, as well as tempura and other menu supervised by local shop.
The store actively engages in various initiatives with local entrepreneurs, creators, and community members. Serving as a community center, there is a map of the neighborhood on the ground floor that posts information on nearby points of interest.
●"Itabashi-no-Ippin (Best Items of Itabashi)" Voted by Residents
On September 2022, MUJI signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Itabashi Ward to tackle local issues and promote community vitalization together. "Itabashi-no-Ippin (best items from Itabashi)" are food items long-loved by the community. 64 new products were added to "Itabashi no Ippin" decided through voting by residents as well as professional judges (while the previous "Itabashi-no-Ippin” became the Hall of Fame). The store looks to share the charms of Itabashi through these products.
●MUJI Kitchen Sells Locally Menu
MUJI Kitchen on the second floor sells not only hot and cold deli, but also original menu items such as "hand-made hamburg steak" prepared in-house and locally-sourced “butternut squash tempura” supervised by a local cater.
Both the hamburg steak and tempura are well received by customers since the opening, and there are often long lines of customers. Two types of original craft beers produced at a nearby craft beer brewery are also available.
● "22 Meeting"
People who are active in Itabashi Ward are invited as guest speakers on the 22nd of each month – the number matches the store address and name – to discuss community vitalization. Past meeting topics include "how we can vitalize Itabashi Ward" and “ideas for MUJI ITABASHI MINAMICHO22 to make the community better”.
The store aims to enrich the community by connecting people with each other, connecting the store to the community, and through new ideas and projects.
●Sale of Locally-Sourced Vegetables and Flowers
Another initiative with the Itabashi Ward and the surrounding area includes the sale of locally-sourced vegetables and flowers. On the second floor, we sell potted plants and vegetables produced by various organizations in the area. In addition, we introduce its producers with illustrations by local artists on blackboards. We hope people can realize and appreciate the local producers and their products as well.
●Sale of Ice Cream by Weight *Exclusive to this store
The ice cream stand sells eight flavors of ice cream by weight and customers can order up to eight scoops, convenient for sharing among friends and families. “We get to share all the flavors, so we love this system”, a family visiting the store remarked.
Jersey Milk and Green Tea are the most popular flavors.
●3D Printer *Exclusive to this store
The 3D Printer creates assistive devices to make MUJI products even more convenient to use. These assistive devices are designed to compensate for difficult tasks in daily life due to disability, illness or age. For instance, a device can help those with weak grip open aluminum bottles.
Currently, there are four assistive devices available: bookmarks that help pull out books, hooks that help with zipping or unzipping, openers that help open and close aluminum bottles, and tape handles that help pull out file boxes, which is the most popular of the four.
●Bulk Sale of Hair Care Products and Detergents
For the first time at MUJI, detergents are sold by weight where customers can weigh detergent themselves without needing the assistance of a store staff. Also, for the first time in eastern Japan, hair care products are now sold by weight.
“Store launch marks the beginning of our cooperation with the community. Through daily sales and community activities, we aim to gain the trust of our customers and become an indispensable presence in the community,” remarked Hiroaki Narimatsu, the store manager.