Following a pop-up space earlier this year that provided fans a selection of iconic products, Muji returns to Portland with a massive flagship store, and it’s the very first outpost in this corner of the U.S. West Coast. The Japanese lifestyle brand has quite comfortably settled at the Meier & Frank Building, a fifteen-storey landmark building smack in the middle of town, featuring a retail space of no less than 11,000 sq.ft. (1,022 sqm.). For the interior design, Muji once again collaborated with Tokyo-based practice Super Potato, and it’s a setting that not only retained the building’s original features, but also playfully fuses the brand’s signature design codes with elements taken from local culture. The latter arguably is best captured by the abundant use of reclaimed wood sourced from the state of Oregon.
Additionally, the design firm also created a custom floor plan featuring so-called diagonal merchandising, as opposed to traditional aisles of vertical shelves, which allows customers to easily view the full contents of the store. Muji‘s second largest store stateside carries all of the brand’s staple goods, including apparel, kitchenware, stationery, furniture and skincare, but also comes with services that are new to the U.S., including an in-store Art Wall, created in collab with the Pacific Northwest College of Art to reflect city’s vibrant creative culture, a coffee service provided by local coffee roasters, and a bicycle-powered mobile store. Muji is also in conversation with a number of local organizations – both as vendors and as partners – to celebrate the culture and aesthetic of Portland alongside its own merchandise. So, which other extras can be found on the premises? In honour of the opening, Muji has created two essential oils which will be exclusive to the location, and is inspired by the region’s natural surroundings.
Baptized Oregon Cedarwood and Oregon Lavender, the oils can be used as standalone aromatherapy oils or can be paired with the signature aroma diffuser to scent the home. The packaging design was created by local illustrator Jason Sturgill. Also available are Muji‘s alteration and embroidery services, respectively providing same-day pickup for items purchased in store and over 300 embroidered designs and letters to add to any of the brand’s clothing or textile items. The Muji Coffee Stand partners with a rotating list of local coffee roasters to offer an in-store coffee service, and kicking off with Nossa Familia. Lastly, the Muji store teams up with Portland Pedal Power to create a mobile bike store bringing its signature items to areas beyond the downtown area. Location: Muji, 621 S.W. 5th Avenue (Downtown).
Designed by Super Potato
Images © Muji U.S.A.
Photography: David Papazian