Retail Brand Miniso Opens First Flagship Store in China

Chinese variety store Miniso opened its first flagship store on February 5 along Chunxi Road, a pedestrianized shopping street in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan Province. During the trial operation period, the daily average flow of people entering the store exceeded 10,000, and the daily sales volume reached 135,000 yuan ($19,909).

As a symbol of urban consumption, Chunxi Road has always been a battleground for trendy brands at home and abroad. The first Miniso flagship store currently covers about 1,000 square meters, with nearly 7000 stock keeping units.

Miniso sells diversified household items, so retaining users is a critical issue for the company. No longer satisfied with just buying the product itself, but paying more attention to an emotional experience may be an effective way to increase repurchase rates. Therefore, Miniso‘s expenditure on IP licensing fees reached up to 140 million yuan last year.

Miniso often cooperates with Disney, Marvel, the NBA and a culture firm related to the Forbidden City, to tap into the potential between brands and IPs. This time, a number of zones for Strawberry Bear, Pixar, and Kuromi, which are popular among young people, were set up in the flagship store.

Together with the flagship store, the company’s first fragrance museum was unveiled, which was jointly created by Miniso and Firmenich, a private Swiss company in the fragrance and flavor business. The whole space adopts a “floral art” as the theme.

(Source: Miniso)

In recent years, Miniso has continuously developed its aromatherapy efforts. In 2022, it united famous perfumers and top suppliers for Dior, Jo Malone, Armani, and Gucci, to establish a new aromatherapy series, achieving a gross merchandise volume of 10 million yuan within four months of its listing.

In January 2023, Miniso‘s monthly offline store sales in China exceeded 1.3 billion yuan, a record high in a single month. As of September 30, 2022, Miniso has entered 105 countries and regions on five continents, with nearly 5,300 stores worldwide, including 3,269 stores in China. In the Chinese market, the retail price of more than 95% of Miniso‘s products is lower than 50 yuan, which makes it known as a brand with a cheap price tag.

In terms of operation models, Miniso still adopts a setup that includes “direct sales + partner stores + agency stores” overseas. However, due to cultural and cognitive differences, it is more difficult to manage overseas agents.

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At the beginning of August last year, the term “Japanese geisha” was wrongly published by Spanish agents, which caused a huge backlash in China. Domestic consumers’ dissatisfaction with the marketing of Miniso broke out as a result. In order to save the brand’s image, Miniso admitted their inaccurate brand positioning and marketing behavior in the early stage of the company’s development, and promised that the brand would complete a “de-japanizing” rectification, which would be completed by the end of March 2023.

In recent years, various boutique collection stores, such as M&G SHOP, NOME invested by Sequoia and Capital Today, and The Green Party have poured into major shopping centers to compete with Miniso for young customers. The rise of special e-commerce platforms such as Pinduoduo has further disintegrated the offline price advantage of Miniso.