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Muji Europe poised to go into administration

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The European arm of the Japanese clothing and homeware retailer Muji is to appoint administrators, in another gloomy signal for the UK’s struggling high street.

The spokesperson for the retailer, which has six stores in London and one in Birmingham, said the move formed part of a “planned strategic restructuring of the business”, and that it expected to reach a deal shortly.

The company stressed the process would have no immediate impact on shops, staff and the general running of the chain.

“For Muji’s colleagues and customers in Europe it is business as usual. All stores and e-commerce will continue to operate as before, and all new and outstanding orders will be fulfilled,” it said.

Muji was launched in Japan in 1980. It sells a range including clothes, stationery, homeware, beauty products and cupboard essentials.

It is known for its focus on Japanese-inspired, simple and functional goods and has stores across Europe. Its remit has stretched to prefab houses and driverless shuttle buses.

The news followed difficulties for a string of well-known high street retailers.

The Body Shop announced in February it was calling in administrators, subsequently announcing the closure of nearly half of its UK stores.

This month, the company behind the fashion brand Ted Baker appointed administrators, putting hundreds of jobs at risk across its 46 UK stores.

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The high-profile collapse of the homeware and household goods chain Wilko last year led to the closure of its 400 shops and almost all of its 12,500 workers being made redundant.

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