There has been a lot of hype in my area about the opening of a couple of Japanese retailers opening locations in the Metro Vancouver area. I generally don’t do a ton of shopping, because I’m both crazy busy and because I spend all of my extra cash on my kids or vacations. I was, however, really intrigued by these new retailers from Japan, because it’s always interesting to see everyday items through a different cultural lens.
Obviously, I avoided opening weekends, because standing in line with a huge throng of people is just not my jive. A weekday morning when most people are hopefully still at work is a great time to go to a usually busy mall! So after my baby girl’s swimming lesson, we headed straight to Metropolis at Metrotown to check it out.
First up, we checked out Uniqlo. It is two levels and has men’s and women’s clothing where they carried everything from underwear and lingerie to outerwear and accessories. They also had an itty bitty children’s sections that took me forever to find and was only a few aisles of items.
Despite being a Wednesday morning, it was still buzzing with people. They had a lot of staff on hand to help people out, or just welcome customers to the new store. The staff were pretty friendly, but I guess the store just opened, so they haven’t become jaded and resentful yet. That’s probably a few years away.
Because it’s a Japanese retailer, I was a little leery of how the sizing was. Being from the Philippines, I’ve often been burned by how small Asian sizes run compared to North American sizes. I tried on both small and medium tops and pants, but I am generally a North American small or size 4. I would say I am in between a small and medium at Uniqlo, but a small worked better for me. So I think their sizing is better than H and M, which runs really small, but definitely try things on to see where you fit on their scale.
The line for the cash registers was long but fast. They had several people working the registers, so we waited only a few minutes for the next available till. Paige was pretty much done at this store, so we were out and headed for Muji.
After checking out the Muji website, which is a wealth of products for the home as well as clothing and accessories, and after visiting the multi-level Uniqlo, I was kind of surprised to see the store was actually comparatively small. It was one level, and did have a few furniture items on display and lots of housewares, but you definitely won’t see all of the products you can find online.
I liked their housewares, but there was nothing out-of-the-box spectacular that I just had to have. They had a nice selection of minimalist items in neutral colors. I liked their luggage, but right now I have no need to buy more. The only food item they carried so far seemed to be marshmallows, with signs promising more food on the way.
Overall, I wasn’t super impressed. Someone described Muji as a Japanese Ikea, so I guess I went in with the expectation that it would be huge with a lot of different items, but in the space they had, there were definitely limitations in how much stock they could display.
To appease my little girl, who had been so patient during our shopping expedition, I let her have some time to look around the Disney store across the way (as an excuse because I also love to check out the Disney store).
And FYI, not paid for this post! I just like to shop LOL!