MUJI U.S.A., a division of the Japanese retailer, announced Friday it had filed for bankruptcy organization. It blamed falling sales due to store closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
The chain has one store in the Northwest. The Portland, Ore., location is an 11,000-square-foot store downtown in the old Meier & Frank Building on Fifth Avenue. The company said it would remain “fully operational” during the bankruptcy restructuring. Its 19 stores across the country are in various stages of reopening.
Bloomberg reported that the U.S. division had been operating at a loss for the past three fiscal years. Last year, Bloomberg said, it had a loss of around $10 million, according to its bankruptcy statement.
MUJI is a Japanese lifestyle brand known for its minimalism and a wide selection of products ranging from stationery to gel pens to a complete cleaning system to luggage to rice cookers to sweaters to snacks, as The Oregonian/OregonLive noted when the downtown store opened in November 2018. The store remains open daily.
The retail division filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Thursday in Delaware.
“MUJI has felt the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on in-store retail, and as a result will take this opportunity to refocus our efforts in the United States on key regional markets and e-commerce,” said CEO Satoshi Okazaki.
The filing comes on the heels of two other retail bankruptcies: Brooks Brothers and Sur La Table.