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Virus-hit Muji USA files for bankruptcy protection $64m in debt

Japanese retailer cracks under the weight of pricey rent payments

TOKYO -- The U.S. unit of home goods chain Muji filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, its Japanese operator said, succumbing to the coronavirus pandemic that forced it to close stores while still having to pay sky-high rents for its prime retail locations.

Muji U.S.A., a subsidiary of Ryohin Keikaku, famous for its simple, no-frills designs and no-brand philosophy, joined a list of ailing retailers feeling the pinch of the pandemic. The company listed a total debt of $64 million at the time of its Chapter 11 protection filing. The unit will produce a restructuring plan within 180 days, which will include store closings.

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