Japanese retailer Muji’s European arm set to call in administrators

The European arm of Japanese clothing and homeware retailer Muji is set to appoint administrators, in another gloomy signal for the UK’s struggling high street.

The spokesman for the business, which has six stores in London and one in Birmingham, said the move forms part of a “planned strategic restructuring of the business”, and that it expects to shortly reach a deal.

It stressed the process will have no immediate impact on shops, staff and the general running of the chain.

Muji is known for its Japanese-inspired simple and functional products (Alamy/PA)
Muji is known for its Japanese-inspired simple and functional products (Alamy/PA)

“For Muji’s colleagues and customers in Europe it is business as usual. All stores and e-commerce will continue to operate as before, and all new and outstanding orders will be fulfilled,” the firm said.

Muji was launched in Japan in 1980 and sells a range including clothes, stationery, homeware, beauty products and cupboard essentials

It is known for its focus on Japanese-inspired simple and functional goods and also has stores across mainland Europe and the Nordics.

The news follows difficulties for a string of well-known high street retailers.

The Body Shop announced in February it was calling in administrators, subsequently announcing the closure of nearly half of its UK stores.

Earlier this month, the company behind fashion brand Ted Baker appointed administrators, putting hundreds of jobs at risk across its 46 UK stores.

The high-profile collapse of the historic chain Wilko last year led to the closure of its 400 shops and almost all of its 12,500 workers being made redundant.