Cult Japanese houseware brand Muji is as beloved for its minimal aesthetic as it is for its rejection of branding and labels. The famously “no-brand” brand has shunned advertising its products since it launched in Japan in the 1980s, instead opting to gain loyal customers through a growing network of warm and home-y physical stores that invite customers to peruse for hours. And soon, you’ll even be able to spend the night.
This week, the company announced plans to open a Muji Hotel in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The hotel will take up the top floors of a 10-story building, right above the soon-to-be largest Muji flagship store housed on the first six floors. The hotel rooms, of course, are fully decked out in Muji furniture, accessories, and home goods. Visitors will get to enjoy that same simple, serene and uncluttered Muji vibe that holds such appeal in the stores, just now privately, and for longer.
The Ginza hotel, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, is the first of its kind in Japan but will be the second Muji hotel worldwide. A couple of months ago, the company announced that it will open a hotel in China’s Shenzhen province around the end of 2017. Muji has garnered attention for the systematic worldwide expansion of its retail stores, which now number over 700 and are spread across three continents. As the former Muji U.S.A president, Asako Shimazaki, told me in an interview last year, Muji relies on the shopping experience to expand its customer base. To keep costs low, the company makes innovative use of undesirable industrial materials and cuts out the fat during its production process. It also doesn’t pay to advertise—instead preferring for the set-up of the stores and the assistance of its employees to tell the company’s story for it.
With the hotels, Muji is doubling down on that strategy, allowing the customer to experience firsthand the simple “Muji lifestyle” that has made it so popular. If the stores are any indication, we can expect more Muji hotels to start popping up in major cities.