Muji’s US business seeks bankruptcy protection over COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks outside a newly opened Muji store at a shopping mall in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China December 12, 2016. Picture taken December 12, 2016.

TOKYO: Minimalist lifestyle brand Muji’s US subsidiary has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, its Japanese owner Ryohin Keikaku said on Friday (Jul 10), joining the list of casualties from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ryohin Keikaku said Muji aims to close unprofitable stores and renegotiate rents in the United States, where its 18 stores have been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic.

The outbreak has inflicted widespread financial pain on global retailers, leading many such as J Crew and Brooks Brothers to file for bankruptcy protection.

Ryohin Keikaku said the US filing will not affect its operations in other markets.

But the business has also been hit by store closures and weak consumer spending in its main market, Japan.

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