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Muji Opens NYC Flagship Store

Japanese retailer Muji has opened its U.S. flagship store here at 620 40th Street in the New York Times new headquarters skyscraper.

Greeting visitors who enter from the 40th Street entrance is a presentation of home textiles dominated by sleep pillows, throws, duvet covers, comforters and chair cushions.

The 4,350-square-foot store also stocks apparel, housewares, desk supplies, storage and a variety of gadgets. It is Muji's second standalone unit in the United States. The first opened in New York's SoHo area last November.

The new store is larger than the SoHo location, and merchandise assortments — especially in the home textiles segment — are greatly expanded. The presentation relates directly to the transparency of the building; there are no walls and the shelving and fixtures are clear acrylic.

Muji means "no-brand quality goods," and while Muji product is minimalist, its price points are not Ikea-cheap. A ramie knit throw retails at $76.75; pillow prices range from $13.75 for a poly/cotton construction to $68.25 for a urethane pillow. A utility comforter is priced at $320.25. The opening price bath towel, "Thin Cotton," is priced at $11.25. The Egyptian towel and the Soft towel are both priced at $27.95.

Muji currently operates 338 stores in Japan and 82 stores in other countries across Asia and Europe. Its publicly traded parent company, Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd., generated $1.5 billion in sales in 2007.

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