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Miniso sees potential for thousands of US stores as expansion costs drop

September 15, 2021 6:14 pm

Chinese low-price retailer Miniso Group plans to expand its global presence by doubling its US outlets to 54 by yearend, as well as opening a "flagship" store in Flushing, New York City, in November.

Details:

Established just eight years ago, the Tencent-backed company has an evident and zealous accomplishment to own 4,800 stores in more than 90 countries worldwide, including 3,000 stores in China and 35 stores in the US

In addition to doubling its outlets in the US this year, Miniso ultimately sees potential for "thousands" of US stores, according to Reuters, citing Vincent Huang, the company's vice president responsible for overseas business.

Based in Guangzhou, Miniso benefits from the local manufacturing scene as well as its collaboration with global suppliers such as Italy's Intercos and Japan's Cosmex for cosmetics and skincare, Switzerland's Givaudan for spices, Singapore's Jiacheng Group for tableware, and China's Sanxiao for toothbrushes.

Miniso has successfully attracted global investors, evident by it raising $608 million in a US IPO last year. Still, the real challenge for its global expansion lies in whether or not it can expand in non-Asian communities and compete with retail giants like Dollar Tree, with its heavy emphasis on its Japanese-inspired brand image.

Miniso is often compared with Daiso, a Japanese dollar store chain that entered the US in 2005 due to its similar pricing strategy and product range. Like Daiso, most Miniso's stores are also in Southern California, tapping into the vibrant Asian American community. Daiso made its first east-coast debut also in Flushing, New York City, two years ago.

Context:

In times of a pandemic, as E-commerce flourishes, retails giants have taken a hit just like any other brick and mortar business. For example, Flying Tiger Copenhagen, a Danish variety store chain that is often considered a rival to Miniso in many markets, has closed its 13 US outlets last year.

When some see obstacles, Miniso sees opportunities — Miniso's US sales have recovered to pre-COVID levels, with sales in the first half of 2021 seeing a rise of 73% year on the year, according to Reuters, citing Vincent Huang.

Huang also says that expansion costs in the United States had fallen by about 20%, mainly due to rental cuts. The pandemic had also made it easier to secure suitable locations.