Chinese Variety Store Miniso Seeks Global Expansion with Soaring Shares in IPO

Chinese discount retailer Miniso saw a robust NYSE debut on Thursday, raising $608 million with its stock rising as high as $24.90, well above its price range of $16.50 to $18.50. Despite the blow from the global pandemic, Miniso expects continuous global growth and expansion, the company’s chief executive Guofu Ye said.

The Chinese lifestyle goods retailer has often been referred to as the copycat of minimalist Japanese brands such as MUJI and UNIQLO. But the association didn’t stop the affordable and stylish Chinese brand from becoming the top variety store in China and the world.

According to its prospectus, the seven-year-old Miniso has opened 4,222 stores across the globe up to the end of June. 32.3% and 32.7% of Miniso’s total annual revenue in 2019 and 2020 fiscal year, respectively, were from overseas. With the $608 million IPO proceeds, Miniso plans to upgrade its warehouse storage and logistical network, and boost its digital operation system.

With financial backup from Tencent since 2018, Miniso intended to open 10,000 stores in 100 global markets.But in 2020, more than one-fifth of its overseas stores were shut down due to the global coronavirus pandemic. But Miniso’s CFO Saiyin Zhang said it won’t affect the company’s global strategy, and its momentum will keep up.

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“We did take a hit at the beginning of the pandemic,” Ye said in an interview. “But as things eased up in May through July, we started to recover and now we’re back to 95% of our previous performance.”

A Miniso Store

Lots of ideal locations became newly available due to the pandemic, and Miniso sees it as a hidden opportunity to power its revised global expansion plan to open 1,200 stores globally this year, as the company originally planned to only open 600 stores.