Sunday, September 19, 2021

China’s Miniso to Double US Stores, NY Add ‘Flagship’ as Pandemic Slashes Mall Rents

BEIJING—Chinese retailer Miniso Group will open a flagship store in New York and nearly double its US outlets this year, betting post-pandemic shoppers on a budget cheap items for the home and $10 soft toy cats and $ 4 Stapler sized will do the job. Avocado.

At fewer than 60 outlets, Miniso’s US presence will still be dwarfed by its domestic Chinese base of about 3,000 stores, along with giant low-priced retailers like Dollar Tree.

But Miniso says it is moving quickly to take advantage of lower rents in the pandemic-hit US economy, and Vincent Huang, the company’s vice president for foreign trade, told Reuters that it will eventually open “thousands of US stores”. Sees potential.

The plan highlights the ambition to vault a company founded just eight years ago in Guangzhou, which now has about $1.41 billion in annual revenue, and listed in New York with a market value of $4 billion. Shares are down 2.3 per cent since the October 2020 float, amid a broader COVID-19-induced retail slump, but it counts the likes of Chinese tech giants Tencent and Hillhouse Capital among investors.

The expansion also comes at a crucial moment for malls across the United States, with multiple storied retail names succumbing to a drop in sales that swiftly followed the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Among the brands missing from the US retail landscape was Flying Tiger Copenhagen, a Danish variety store chain rival to Miniso in many markets around the world, which closed its 13 US outlets in November last year.

miniso
The logo of Chinese low-cost lifestyle and consumer products retailer Miniso is pictured on August 10, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. (Kim Kyung-hoon/Reuters)

Huang said that with nearly 4,800 stores in more than 90 countries worldwide, Miniso will have 54 outlets in the United States by the end of this year, up from 30 initially.

“We choose to expand our presence in the United States now for several reasons, including lowering the cost of opening a new store after COVID-19,” Huang said in a recent interview.

New stores include early November at the recently launched Tangram Mall in Flushing, New York — known for a vibrant Asian-American community — Miniso’s first outlet in the city, which Huang built on a 3,300-square-foot Flagship store. The space, slightly larger than a tennis court, is selling everything from neck pillows to notebooks and makeup.

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‘strategic market’

He said expansion costs in the United States have dropped by about 20 percent, mainly due to rental cuts and the pandemic, making it easier to secure good locations.

“We have always believed that we are an international business and that North America is our strategic market,” he said.

Miniso describes itself as “a Japanese-inspired lifestyle product retailer” and has in the past been compared to the Muji chain run by Tokyo-listed Ryohin Keikaku.

But Miniso’s busy stores and deals place it in a segment occupied by Japan’s renowned $1 store chain, Daiso Industries, which has been present in the United States since 2005, with a network of nearly 80 stores, including the first East Coast branch in Flushing. .

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customer-shops
customer-shops
A customer makes a purchase at the store of Chinese retailer MINISO Group on September 13, 2021 in Beijing, China. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Miniso didn’t disclose exact sales numbers for the store in the United States, where it opened its first outlet in California in 2017, but last month it reported that it accounted for nearly 20 percent of its $1.41 billion total revenue for the fiscal year. Booked (ends June) from its 1,800 overseas stores in countries like Mexico, Indonesia and India.

Huang said US sales of Miniso have reached pre-COVID-19 levels, with sales increasing 73 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2021. “We are more popular than ever since the pandemic,” he said.

Helping the collection popularize product collaborations in recent years with major trademark holders including Disney, Coca-Cola, and Marvel Entertainment, the collection includes items such as Mickey Mouse facial creams, Coca-Cola ceramic mugs, and Spider-Man mouse pads.

“After all, consumers don’t care whether we’re Chinese or Japanese, American or European,” Huang said. “Consumers’ concern is whether they can afford a good value product for the least amount of money.”

by Sophie Yu and Brenda Gohoe

Reuters

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

China's Miniso to Double US Stores, NY Add 'Flagship' as Pandemic Slashes Mall Rents
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