The Muji store in Hong Kong international airport
I love browsing Japanese stores like Muji and Uniqlo which offer a wide range of 'basics' or utilitarian products. In Muji one can find stationary, clothes and food items all within a single space. In a way it's comforting to see everything nicely compartmentalized.
Perhaps the question is, why should one venture beyond regular supermarket or drugstore products and pay for 'branded' basics (I'm talking about Muji here)? As cited earlier, the neat arrangement and clear, even aesthetically pleasing display of goods creates a unique shopping experience. Also, the simple, fuss-free yet stylish packaging offers a refreshing alternative to overt brand advertisement and the proliferant use of logos.
In fact, 'Muji' literally means 'no brand'. Nothing is overly processed- notebooks are covered in raw brown paper, clothes are lightweight and made of breathable cotton etc. It's the promise of a clean (some might say no-frills), contemporary lifestyle that draws consumers to Muji. Simplicity in itself can be a form of elegance and luxury worth paying for.