Sometimes people do crazy things but I like to move things further which leads up to the topic of Muji. This company was founded in Japan, 1980. I’ve heard people describe it as an Asian IKEA and you can think of its motto as “simple, sleek, and clean” – I think their real theme is “simplicity”. They like to make their products small so that it fits into the Japanese homes, and I’m sure you know how tiny their residences look like. Best known for their stationery (e.g. pens and notebooks), Muji also carries household items, food and make-up.
Location: Dundas and Yonge (beside LCBO)
I was there on Day 1 and busy is an understatement. I waited 2+ hours to get in, and another frigg’n 20 minutes JUST to get to the 2nd floor. Afterwards it’s another hour to the cashier. A lot of people asked if the waiting was worth it…I already did it so I won’t say “no” LOL. I lined up because I wanted that damn tote bag (limited to 1000 in quantity) and it has “Toronto” on the front. I have an addiction to collecting limited edition items and honestly my life is a bit boring so this was a big highlight (I know, poor blogger she’s so lame lol).
This is SUCH a good location, I bet they are paying a lot to get this place. This area is booming with consumers – accessible from Dundas TTC subway station and right across from Eaton Centre. Did I mention it’s within walking distance? There is also an indoor entrance from the mall (Atrium on Bay). Spacing wise it’s a great starter for MUJI but for the grand day…holy cow it was a shit show. Those lines wrapped around like the mobile game Snake and it felt like the day would never end. I think the store looks great, shares the same interior design with other MUJIs and honestly is not bad. On Facebook and other sites people complain about the size but why? You expect them to open one as big as the LA store? That’s not very smart. This is to test out the waters.
Everything except for their clothing is reasonably priced. Stationery is typically less than $10 and pens are anywhere from $1-5, not bad at all. This is a store that prides itself with simplicity so you are not paying additional fees for branding.
Most of the sales don’t know shit lol, but the managers are very knowledgeable. They do know their products but for its opening day, everything is frigg’n sold out. I don’t think this is really their fault and I found it hilarious that the workers were so confused. However, MUJI does not pressure their customers to purchase something and are extremely polite. Despite not being an expert in their own products, everyone of them that I spoke to (like 4 in total) would find an answer when asked. That’s pretty good in my standard
Grand Opening complaints/suggestions
The lines were ridiculous I admit and if you want to complain about it, then don’t wait. Most of the people who were in line prior to 1pm really wanted the frigg’n tote bag. Inside each tote bag you also get a notebook which is priced at approximately $1. Afterwards you can bring that same notebook to a counter for *free* stamping. When we were really close to the entrance, one of the managers (I think he’s probably high up in the staff chain) came out in his shirt (no jacket ladies and gentlemen) just to apologize. He announced that the numbers in tote bags were decreasing and could not promise everyone that they would get one. Fair enough. I like that sincerity and best of all, I see effort. Other people online have complained that they should not limit consumers with line-ups – what do you want them to do? Some people are so ridiculous, this is a test for MUJI and if successful they will expand within the GTA. I really dislike how people are ungrateful about MUJI’s establishment in Toronto, if you can’t wait then don’t. 1-2 weeks from now MUJI will not be as busy and then you can go and enjoy a real shopping experience. There are individuals like myself who don’t mind waiting, we love MUJI, and yes we are okay with lining up. I don’t know what other people are expecting, yes they had a “VIP” opening on Friday…so do other places lol. Even though Toronto houses a large Asian population, we are no Los Angeles or New York City…it’s just completely different. There is a reason why Uniqlo isn’t here yet and MUJI only graced the Canadian lands in the year of 2014. It’s sad for us consumers who need to buy items overseas or across the border but why can’t everyone be thankful? I’m still praying for Uniqlo and Daiso. And did anyone line up for Microsoft? Because I did and gave up RIGHT AWAY – overnight line up right there, except products were actually on sale lol.
If you hate line ups, don’t even go near this shop until 1 month later (and make that a weekday). If you love MUJI and can’t wait then don’t complain about line ups. Popular stores are like that, have you tried CHA TIME? That frigg’n bubble tea place is always busy and they have expanded up to 4 stores already (possibly more).