In advance of the opening of two permanent stores in Metro Vancouver later this year, MUJI will be opening to the public its pop-up store in downtown Vancouver at the end of this week.
The month-long pop-up store is tucked away in a small corner of the lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, providing just a taste of what Vancouverites can expect from the full-fledge 10,000-square-foot stores that will open on Robson Street and Metropolis at Metrotown shopping centre at the end of this year.
“Everyone in Vancouver, I have kept you waiting for a very long time,” said MUJI Canada president Toru Akita at an unveiling event this morning. “I really appreciate your patience, we are finally coming here!”
But don’t expect a wide selection, this is literally a pop-up store – it stays true to its definition. Inside the pop-up location, customers can find a variety of pens and snacks, aroma diffusers, wall-mounted CD players and clocks, notepads, ceramic cups and bowls, and few other goods.
“We really regard this pop-up store as our opportunity to communicate with the people of Vancouver as much as possible to ensure our permanent stores are the best,” continued Atika.
In order to access the pop-up store, online registration is required as the space is very small and can only handle a dozen people at any time. MUJI wants to avoid the long lines that were experienced at some of its openings elsewhere, and so far the interest in the pop-up store has been immense.
The MUJI pop-up shop will be open from 11 am to 7 pm, from Friday, January 27 to Sunday, January 29, then Monday to Friday through Tuesday, February 28.
An entire wall inside the Giovane Cafe at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel that normally showcases local goods and souvenirs has been replaced with some of BEAMS Japan’s most brand defining items.
Like MUJI and UNIQLO, BEAMS is another Japanese retailer that focuses on excelling in the simplicity. “Basic and exciting would be the philosophy,” BEAMS president Yo Shitara told Daily Hive.
The company offers its lifestyle spin on clothing and assorted goods, and a tiny selection of what is available at its brick-and-mortar stores is now being sold at the hotel cafe.
“We have brought a sample of the most vibrant and colourful products from BEAMS Japan,” said Shitara. “We look forward soon to your reaction to how you like the selection of Japan that BEAMS has brought to you.”
There are approximately 160 BEAMS stores in Japan and across Asia, and the company is contemplating a store expansion beyond its traditional market. It opened several pop-up stores in Europe last year with great success, and the pop-up store opening this week in Vancouver is the retailer’s first in North America.
“We want to see how the sensitive taste of Japan will interact with the people of Vancouver who have this culturally and environmentally rich lifestyle,” he said.
“This will be a good test market for us, so if we get really good results we’ll be considering it for the near future. Ian Gillespie from Westbank Projects Corporation has been asking us if we want to do more with them in the future, and we’re pretty sure we will engage with something with Westbank.”
Both the MUJI and BEAMS pop-up stores are part of Wesbank Project Corporation’s JAPAN UNLAYERED exhibition on the second level of the hotel. The exhibit showcases and breaks down some of the unique architectural concepts and elements for the upcoming 1550 Alberni Street tower, designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who is also behind the design of the new Olympic Stadium for Tokyo 2020.