Sales staff in a Miniso shop. Miniso is a Japanese lifestyle and fast fashion brand that sells merchandise such as homeware, bags and electronics at low prices. Despite claiming to be a Japanese brand, Miniso had only four stores in Tokyo compared with more than a thousand in China, therefore is widely questioned by the users for the brand’s origin
Bright lights, clean minimalist design and flat-screens playing sleek promotional videos advertising the life you wish you had—this is not the scene you’d expect to encounter in a dollar store, at least as Canada knows them. And yet, that’s what greets customers at the first Ontario location of Miniso, a Japanese-style value retailer that’s planning a 500-store expansion into Canada over the next few years. There will be a total of at least eight locations in B.C. and two in Ontario by the end of this year, with plans to extend that to up to 50 Canadian stores in 2018—a pace of growth that would make it a dollar-store disruptor and put it in direct competition with industry behemoth Dollarama.
Regardless of the company’s questionable authenticity, Miniso presents a real threat to the dollar store landscape in Canada thanks to its mix of low prices and trendy items, says Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of RetailInsider.com. “Miniso has a great price, the stores are bright and friendly, it’s got a variety of product that appears to be unique and I would say is quite differentiated from what you’d see at a Dollarama store,” says Patterson. “I think Miniso’s going to do really well in Canada, and I can’t say that about a whole lot of retailers.”
With classy, matte-finish packaging and no plastic seams in sight,Miniso’s products have a higher quality look and feel to them than what you’d find in a conventional dollar store. The bright lighting, and the shelves upon shelves of patterned backpacks, various styles of water bottles and plush toys in neat rows are reminiscent of Uniqlo’s obsessively organized layout, but with a playful design that sets the store apart from Dollarama as well as mom and pop-owned streetside dollar stores. When you see a Miniso, says Patterson, there’s an excitement to check it out and maybe spend a tenner to make a purchase—not something one would say about Dollarama.
How Miniso is going to disrupt Canada's dollar store industry - Canadian Business - Your Source For Business News