When was the last time buying a pair of socks was a fun experience for you? Never, perhaps? That's one thing that the MUJI to GO mobile store set out to change when it started its engine and took to the roads in Espoo, Finland, in May 2021.
MUJI to GO bus is a minibus store concept created by MUJI, the Japanese retail giant. The mobile store offers a selection of about 100 everyday MUJI items like shirts, socks, slippers, stationery, and Japanese takeaway food. Inside the bus, the items are compactly available on neatly arranged shelves that you can browse at your leisure. And as busses do, the MUJI bus also follows a timetable and a designated route. It stops at busy urban locations, such as shopping centres, to make it easy for local people to stop by.
Shopping at the MUJI store on wheels is a simple, accessible, customer-friendly, and fun way to restock goods you need in your day-to-day living. This writer also has first-hand experience of the MUJI to GO bus experience after stumbling upon the bus on the way to the local grocery. Shopping for socks has never been as enjoyable.
MUJI to GO bus — driving to make life easier for people
Espoo is the first city outside Japan where MUJI has launched its mobile store concept. In Finland, the company has the same philosophy as in Japan.
"We wish to be a company that is useful and helpful for people's life in Finland. This is our core message that we would like to present to the people of Finland through this MUJI to GO bus project," says Miho Takagi, the Managing Director of MUJI Finland.
Like Japan, Finland has an ageing population that benefits from having services available close to where they live. Therefore, along with selling its products, MUJI wants to make living easier for people while offering a unique, communal shopping experience.
MUJI has cooperated with Enter Espoo since 2020
The mobile store is a concrete example of the valuable cooperation between MUJI and Enter Espoo. In November 2021, Enter Espoo also helped the Japanese company create a VR experience of the Nuuksio National Park at the MUJI Kamppi Helsinki store.
"We are thankful to Enter Espoo for cooperating and supporting us in launching the MUJI to GO bus. Enter Espoo helped us in various matters such as marketing, selecting bus companies, recommending destinations, to mention just a few," Takagi says.
Like for many, the COVID-19 epidemic has made the road rockier for the mobile store. But, according to Takagi, customers have been happy to shop at the MUJI bus despite the pandemic. The bus has also introduced the Japanese brand to many people, with MUJI's Kamppi store increasing its customer base as a result.
Last year, the MUJI to GO bus ran in the Greater Helsinki area from May to October. And Takagi says that the company is planning to expand the mobile store concept to other locations in Finland in the future.
So, be sure to be on the lookout when the MUJI bus starts to ride again. When it does, all you need to do is to check the timetable and catch the bus.
Hero image: MUJI