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Muji to step up large store openings in Japan's suburbs

Shops to feature cafes, bookstores with ample space to lounge

One of Muji's large stores in Tokyo's Yurakucho district.

TOKYO -- The operator of the Muji retail chain will add more suburban locations that include cafes, bookstores and event spaces, hoping to better compete with big furniture and home improvement stores on the outskirts of Japan's major cities.

Tokyo's Yurakucho district and Osaka, Kyoto and Fukuoka's Hakata area are already home to some of Muji's 14 large stores, which have sales spaces more than double the regular 800-sq.-meter store.

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