LOS ANGELES, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Muji U.S.A., which has been suffering from economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, decided to close all seven of its stores in the U.S. state of California as part of the company's Chapter 11 restructuring.
According to a Friday report of Women's Wear Daily, a global leading fashion-industry trade journal, the closings would not impact the Japanese retailer's operations in Canada, Japan, and elsewhere around the globe, and the brand's e-commerce business in the United States.
Muji said in its bankruptcy application that the company was a victim of COVID-19 which hit brick-and-mortar retail badly and would "reposition the brand's e-commerce business as customer behavior has shifted to online shopping as a result of the pandemic."
The California closings leave about 12 Muji stores continuing to operate in the country.
Satoshi Okazaki, chief executive officer of Muji U.S.A., was quoted as saying that the company hoped to "bring brick-and-mortar Muji stores back to California" in future, and "look forward to serving our California customers online in the meantime."
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Muji had ambitious expansion plans for the United states, considering opening 100 locations in five years, as well as a hotel on the West Coast, the report said.
Muji is a Japanese retail company selling a wide variety of household and consumer goods. The brand is known for its clean Asian aesthetic, multifarious merchandising and moderate prices. It also has hotels in China and Japan.