Masaaki Kanai, President of Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. and founder of MUJI in Chengdu, gave a press conference on-site in December 2014 at the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li open-air shopping centre, where the “No. 1 world flagship store” (the store’s first flagship) is to open amid a line-up of luxury brand stores.

Despite such surroundings, Kanai explained that “we would not have opened here if the cost was high”, sticking to his company’s principles even for a world flagship store.

While he did not divulge the total investment or sales targets, he explained “we opened this store based upon our company’s fixed standards. We did not invest more into it [simply because it is a flagship store]”, and that “we can recoup our investment in under two years”.

The developer built the facility in a low-rise open-air mall format, according to a “slow life” theme. The presence of the MUJI brand is hoped to increase the success of the mall.

Regarding the presence of MUJI among luxury and designer brands, Kanai explained that those “luxury stores do not sell the cleaning supplies or slippers that MUJI does. The inflow of goods for daily life that, up until now, weren’t available in China, will likely spur changes in daily life and awareness”. Kanai further explained that “MUJI can ignore borders and create a presence among luxury goods”.