MUJI SOMA, the Japanese purveyor of "brand-free" clothing, furniture and home goods opens today at Ninth and Bryant Streets. This morning, the store opened their doors to members of the press for a first look around the minimalist SoMa space.
Our first impressions: the clothing items come in a range of earthy tones that are much more subdued than their counterparts over at the vibrant UNIQLO store in Union Square. With less square footage devoted to clothing here, the wearable goods seem to focus more on current looks and less on an overwhelming range of color choices. Likewise, prices seemed a bit higher than other discount retailers in this range, but nothing shot off into the realm of "luxury" items. Basic men's jackets were going for $120, while some smart-looking scarves seemed pricier at $80.
Upstairs in the home goods department, anyone tired of being herded through an IKEA just to buy a spatula and a set of rocks glasses will be glad to find similar items displayed in a much less stressful environment. Some of the prices we checked seemed a little bit higher than the Swedish furniture maker ($9.75 for a pint glass), but MUJI's selection of shelving and storage units will make even the most cluttered apartment-dweller want to organize their apartment.
In addition to clothing and kitchenware, there's a range of stationary items for those who still prefer to jot down things on paper. The sticky notes alone come in more shapes and sizes than we could conceivably find a purpose for, including cat-shaped notes and a 100-leaf set on a keyring. In the toiletries section, we found everything from cheap incense to toothbrushes to back massagers to some indecipherable object with literally zero English writing on the packaging.
None of the items here are particularly unique, but that's exactly the point. The store's simple feel and lack of As-Seen-On-TV items make it a welcome alternative to Bed, Bath and Beyond or the closeout basement feel of Nordstrom's Rack across the street.
The store opened today at 11 a.m. at 540 Ninth Street near Bryant Street. After today, the store will open regularly from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, 11:00a.m. to 6:30p.m. on Sundays.
Previously: All MUJI SOMA coverage on SFist