Japanese retailer Muji prepares pre-pack deal

The Muji store in Birmingham

The UK stores of retailer Muji are expected to be kept open through a pre-pack administration of its European holding company.

The Japanese-owned business has filed a notice of intention to apppoint administrators, TheBusinessDesk.com can reveal. The move gives Muji Europe Holdings 10 days to finalise a way forward while its creditors can’t take recovery action.

Muji told TheBusinessDesk.com: “This is part of a planned strategic restructuring of the business and Muji’s management expect to conclude a deal shortly.

“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.”

Muji’s Birmingham store is on New Street

Muji has a store in New Street, Birmingham, and six in London. Its European holdings company also has stores in Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Denmark, as well as franchise stores in Ireland and Poland.

The retailer’s accounts are seven months overdue. Its last accounts were published more than two years ago and showed a £15m loss for the lockdown-affected year to August 2021. At the time it employed around 500 people.

The lifestyle retailer sells a mix of clothes, stationery, furniture and fragrance. It has launched a 20% off everything sale online today, branded as “Muji week”, as it looks to get cash into the business.

Muji’s global retail operations are not affected by the UK court filing. It has operations in 19 countries in Asia Pacific and North America.