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Mogu brings squishy pillows to U.S.

NEW YORK — Already on the market in Japan and Europe, a line of irresistibly squishy pillows from Mogu is now available in the United States, as the company's first store opened here on Elizabeth Street this week.

The year-old Mogu America, the U.S. division of Japan's Ebisukasei Inc., is put to new use what was formerly a manufacturing by-product of bicycle helmets — tiny Styrofoam balls.

"We are much, much more than a company that makes consumer products," said Geoff Roesch, director of business development for Mogu America. "We believe that people want comfort — many kinds of comfort — in the environment around them, so we create products and programs that help people feel good in and about the way they live."

At 2,000 square feet, the store fits in with the eclectic group of shops on Soho's Elizabeth Strett, just south of Houston. Inside, pillows of all shapes and sizes are displayed in bins, hanging from the ceiling, and on shelving.

Prices range from about $20 for a small pear-shaped pillow to $600 for a huge egg-shaped shaggy pillow.