China Food

MUJI opened a vegetable market. What do you want to sell?

in the future, all brands will be lifestyle brands.
Nowadays, many brands have made the idea of the vegetable market.
Prada opened a flash dish Market in the center of Shanghai before Chengpin bookstore opened a cross-border fresh market. Recently, Muji’s first “fresh compound store” in Shanghai has attracted the attention of the media and the public – in addition to traditional goods, the store has everything from fruits and vegetables and meat to seafood and roasted coffee.
Obviously, Muji will not be the last one to open the cross-border fresh food market, and the retail king is curious – why are so many brands eyeing the market? Will fresh food become the cross-border first choice for brands to open offline stores in the future? As a brand representative of lifestyle, Muji frequently explores new business formats. What do you want to do?
With these questions, retail Jun visited this fresh compound store in Muji.
What is “fresh compound”?
MUJI’s first fresh compound store is located in Ruihong Tiandi Sun Palace, Hongkou District, Shanghai.
After consulting relevant materials, you learned that after more than 20 years of development and construction, Ruihong area has become a very famous international comprehensive community in the inner ring of Shanghai. There are nearly 10000 households in the community, more than 30000 permanent residents, about 200000 permanent residents within a 10 minute walk and about 4.32 million residential people within a 30 minute drive.
There is no doubt that the middle class around the sun palace is the target consumer group of Muji.
According to the relevant person in charge of Muji China headquarters, the reason for choosing Ruihong Tiandi Taiyanggong to open a shop is mainly because of its superior geographical location, dense population and convenient transportation.
“We think this place is very suitable for the development of supermarket business. We also hope to provide nearby residents with various commodities to meet their daily needs, and bring the life concept of ‘this is good’ advocated by Muj to more consumers.”
The overall decoration style of this fresh compound store continues its traditional wooden simple “Muji style”. The whole store is divided into two areas: Muji store and fresh supermarket by heavy wooden doors. During business, the wooden doors open to each other to form a natural channel.
Compared with other Muji stores, this Muji store cancels bedding and large furniture, and the display area of food is significantly expanded, and the categories are more abundant.
Here you can find qingtuan, butterfly crisp, ramen, cereal and other fast food commodities with Shanghai characteristics. Ice cream, dessert, frozen pizza and so on are placed in a long row of freezers.
In the fresh supermarket area, the retail King found that in addition to the conventional signs such as grain and oil seasoning, leisure retail and wine and beverage, more subdivided signs such as dessert, simple meal and traditional cooked food were also placed on each freezer in the food area;
On one side of the shelf, an imported muffin powder is displayed. The staff are introducing the use method, ingredients and nutritional ratio of this product to customers in detail;
If you continue to walk inside, you can see some Japanese characteristic foods, such as Hokkaido characteristic snacks and sake. The word Muji is marked on the label above the goods, as well as a brief introduction to Hokkaido customs.
These details give retailers a more intuitive understanding of the positioning of supermarkets – Food proposal supermarkets.
The so-called “food proposal type” means that in addition to selling food materials, it also provides customers with cooking menus and introduces the stories behind food materials, including procurement channels, food characteristics and eating methods, growing season and regional characteristics, etc.
This is obviously in line with the positioning of Muji lifestyle brand. According to the supermarket staff, the fresh supermarket is operated by seven fresh food under Jingdong, while the overall design of the fresh compound store is in the charge of Muji to maintain the unity of style.
The checkout area is located between the supermarket and Muji store, with both manual cashier and self-service settlement machine.
Before using the self-service clearing machine to scan the code, the screen reminds the retail gentleman that he needs to scan the two-dimensional code of the member registered on the Qixian app. Then, a window pops up on the screen to ask the customer whether he wants to log in to the Muji member for points; if he misses this step, he can also scan the two-dimensional code on the cashier ticket to register the Muji member points.
This operation reminds retail Jun that Muji and Qixian have been deeply integrated at multiple levels such as commodity and membership system.
It’s lunchtime to check out from the fresh compound store. The people who have settled the bill come out with big bags and small bags. Many white-collar workers in the office building next door, aunts and uncles living nearby, bustle into the store, and some young people come to punch in. They often “click” with their mobile phones before entering the door
Obviously, with the Muji of fresh supermarket, there is a lot of smoke and anger.
Why the food market?  
Pyrotechnic gas is considered to be the most direct purpose for many brands to open cross-border food markets.
Earlier, Prada, a luxury brand, and the “Wuzhong market” in Shanghai jointly opened a flash dish market, mainly to cooperate with the release of Prada 2021 advertising blockbusters in autumn and winter. Prada’s iconic printing patterns were packaged inside and outside the vegetable market.
This 14 day flash store successfully injected the breath of life into Prada’s original “high and cold” personal design, which attracted netizens to call: finally can afford luxury goods!
In addition to luxury brands, Chengpin bookstore is also “eyeing” the vegetable market. As early as 2018, Chengpin life created a new fresh vegetable market in Xinyi store, Taipei, China – Chengpin Zhiwei market. In addition to packaged food and snacks, more than 150 kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits, fish and shrimp meat planted by local farmers were sold for the first time.
After more than 2 years of exploration, in the end of 10 this year, the life of Cheng pin opened the first small community shop in Taiwan, China. It sells life and sells books, sells fresh vegetables and provides door-to-door service.
Obviously, different from Prada’s fast food market, Chengpin Bookstore focuses more on exploring new formats.
Under the impact of the Internet wave, physical bookstores have opened the road of transformation and upgrading. Yanjiyou, Sisyphus and shawu bookstores are all testing the model of “coffee + Books + cultural and creative products”, and Chengpin cross-border fresh is a new idea of “playing”.
Compared with the first two, Muji selling vegetables does not feel abrupt. In 2017, Muji opened a fruit and vegetable store at its flagship store in Youle Town, Tokyo, Japan; In 2018, the world’s largest Muji vegetable market was opened in Osaka, covering an area of 4300 square meters, focusing on the sales of high-end food materials.
The above person in charge of Muji introduced to the new retail business review that in the past, people’s impression of Muji may be more clothing and daily necessities, but in fact, “food” is also the most basic and important part of people’s life.
This fresh compound store in Taiyanggong draws lessons from the cooperative operation mode and concept of stores in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, and combines the observation and thinking of Chinese consumers’ diet, life and consumption habits over the years.
“We hope that through this fresh compound store, we can provide you with safe and healthy food and diet related life proposals, convey Muji’s concept of ‘food life’, and also hope to use this as a bridge to let more consumers know and understand Muji.”
For brands in the cross-border food market, in addition to making the brand more pyrotechnic, so as to attract more consumers’ attention, the scale and Prospect of China’s food market seem to have a new attraction.
In this “food is the most important thing for the people”, residents can hardly live without the vegetable market.
According to iResearch consulting data, in 2020, the retail scale of Chinese food market exceeded 3 trillion yuan, accounting for 56% of the market share of fresh shopping. Even if the consumption tends to be online in the past few years, the share of the vegetable market has always been stable and has a solid user base in the residential community.
It can be said that the vegetable market is the channel with the largest proportion of China’s fresh retail market. At the same time, it can reach a wider population. In addition, with the high purchase frequency of fresh food, it has great development potential and has become the best choice to attract cross-border brands.
It’s not just a food market  
Back to Muji’s fresh compound store, in fact, Muji’s attempt to explore new formats has never stopped before.
In 2015, Muji opened a three-story flagship store on middle Huaihai Road in Shanghai, including bookstores, restaurants and other businesses.
In January 2018, Muji’s first hotel in the world settled in Shenzhen. It is located in Shenzhen Shenye Shangcheng business district. It sits in three central parks and forms a Muji three in one complex with shops and restaurants. The decoration of the hotel and restaurants maintains the consistent concise style of Muji. In March of the same year, Muji’s hotel in Beijing was also open for business.
After bookstores, hotels and restaurants, Muji opened a convenience store in Jingdong Park, and then opened a second convenience store in Shanghai Baoyang Baolong square. It is worth mentioning that Baolong apartment, the main building where the convenience store is located, is also designed by Muji.
In January this year, Muji opened a large flagship store in Shanghai. In addition to coffee, dessert and restaurant areas, Muji introduced home decoration services for the first time.
According to the above person in charge of Muji, not only the fresh market, Muji will continue to explore and provide richer new lifestyle proposals covering clothing, food, housing and transportation in the future, and the specific store opening plan is still under discussion.
From the retail perspective, from coffee, dessert, simple meals and other catering to convenience stores, supermarkets and hotels, the seemingly dazzling business formats are actually the continuation and expansion of Muji lifestyle brand positioning, which may indicate that lifestyle brands are entering the 2.0 era under the trend of consumption upgrading.
Mao Wenchao, CEO of xiaohongshu, once said: “all brands in the future are lifestyle brands.”
This assertion is particularly meaningful against the background that China’s per capita GDP exceeds US $10000 – which means that consumers’ demand will change from physical value to psychological value. Accordingly, lifestyle brands will gradually rise to replace traditional functional brands.
This well explains the phenomenon that many new brands are keen on developing peripheral products. Taking Naixue’s tea as an example, it clearly puts forward in the prospectus that “it is planned to create more customer contact points by expanding the food categories of tea gift boxes, ready to drink tea products, tea bags, prepackaged desserts and leisure snacks, so as to break through the brand boundary and make Naixue’s tea a lifestyle brand…”
As the pioneer of lifestyle brand, Muji has already expanded a rich product line around brand positioning, from food, washing and daily necessities, stationery, shoes and clothing, furniture, etc.
Today, Muji is no longer satisfied with reaching consumers simply by relying on its existing product lines, but to truly integrate the brand into consumers’ daily life through the exploration of richer offline retail formats and the integration of online and offline.
From the perspective of retail king, another lifestyle brand that has also entered the 2.0 era is IKEA.
City stores, experience spaces, shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, baking workshops… IKEA’s every attempt at new offline formats can trigger heated discussions between the public and the media.
The vegetable market is just a choice for lifestyle brands in the process of opening the 2.0 era. In the foreseeable future, around all aspects of consumers’ life, we may see the shadow of lifestyle brands
Author: Wang Zixu; Source: new retail business review (ID: xinlingshou1001), reprint authorized. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
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