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Muji debuts on Amazon to reach cooped-up shoppers

Closure of physical stores spurs Japanese retailer to expand online presence

A Muji store in Tokyo's Ginza district: More than half of Muji locations in Japan have been temporarily closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

TOKYO -- Japan's Ryohin Keikaku on Friday began selling products from its Muji chain of no-frills home-goods stores via Amazon.com for the first time, broadening its sales channels as the coronavirus outbreak shuts down many of its domestic locations.

The lineup of 250 or so items is heavy on categories such as cosmetics, storage containers and kitchenware to appeal to shoppers stuck at home. It includes such customer favorites as the Clear Care skincare line and polypropylene plastic storage boxes.

About 280 of the roughly 440 Muji locations in Japan were temporarily closed as of Friday, with many others running on reduced hours.

While Ryohin Keikaku has its own online store, selling through Amazon, with its massive established user base, lets the company attract consumers who would not otherwise seek it out.

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