MINISO launched its first flagship store in the Setia City Mall in Selangor. Vincent Huang (pictured below), vice president of MINISO’s international affairs department, said A+M that its Malaysian master licensee’s investment in the new flagship store was approximately RM1.5 million and expects to see a return on investment in two years.
The new store concept, called MINISO 3.0, emphasizes a family shopping experience and is aimed primarily at young, tech-savvy audiences. Therefore, MINISO will focus on social media advertising and leverage the influence of KOLs to share stories about the new flagship store. An online-to-offline strategy is also key to attracting footfall. Besides working with Weber Shandwick, he also worked with Lendlease to promote the launch of MINISO 3.0.
According to Huang, the biggest difference between the flagship store and other MINISO stores is its brand new toy section. It not only features popular licensed products from world famous intellectual property owners, but also MINISO’s original MINI Family collection.
The toy department occupies 20% of the store’s sales space and attracts the most buyers. This section also incorporates trendy and modern design in decor and display, with a unique plush wall, blind box wall and building brick play area.
In addition to toys, Selangor’s flagship store features a scent wall displaying a variety of MINISO’s scented products, including perfumes and home fragrances. This addition was made after MINISO noticed that many Southeast Asian consumers were more interested in purchasing perfumes or scented products. One study put the figure at around 72%. Feature walls also function as photographic sports for consumers, and there are also dedicated walls for displaying kitchenware and fitness products. A lounge area with chairs and sofas in the shape of the blinking face of MINISO’s logo is also available. Meanwhile, the majority of products available in the store range from RM10 to RM20.
MINISO first entered Malaysia in 2016 and Huang describes it as a “melting pot of ethnicities, religions and cultures”. “MINISO also constantly draws inspiration from different cultures and reflects them in our products and stores. It’s a perfect match for us,” Huang said.
Although the uncertainties brought by COVID-19 persist, Huang said, accompanied by inflation, Huang said MINISO is working closely with its primary licensee in Malaysia and has developed a total of 10 product categories for the new store, including cosmetics, home decoration, accessories, toys, personal care, gadgets, beauty tools, textiles, perfumes and perfumes, as well as stationery and gifts.
With Malaysia’s borders reopening, MINISO is eagerly awaiting the return of tourists, which Huang said will help boost sales for all retailers, including the company. “E-commerce still has great potential in Malaysia and we have taken the opportunity to build our e-commerce ecosystem through Shopee, Lazada, its website and app,” he added.
(Also read: Interview: Southeast Asia’s fragmented markets open up new opportunities for MINISO)
Meanwhile, Huang cited the rise of social media in retail as one of the trends he is watching. According to Malaysia’s Department of Statistics, the number of people using the internet increased from 84.2% in 2019 to 89.6% in 2020. Huang said that the high internet penetration rate and the increase in the number of active social media users in Malaysia are driving huge potential in social commerce and the rise of local influencers in the country. “MINISO is an omnichannel retailer and is also present on popular social media platforms. We see the opportunities and would be keen to translate them into online and offline sales,” he said.
“The other thing is that Malaysian consumers have been under moderate inflationary pressures in the post-pandemic environment. Against this backdrop, people are more conscious when it comes to spending,” Huang said. He added that MINISO maintains his company philosophy of introducing quality, easy-to-use, beautiful, fun, affordable and value-for-money products to meet consumer needs. “We plan to crossover with different industries to create more value for our consumers,” he added.
Separately, Robin Liu, Vice President, Chief Marketing and E-Commerce Officer of MINISO, said A+M in an interview last year, Southeast Asia is younger than the majority of MINISO’s other global markets, which fits the brand’s target audience quite well. Additionally, Japanese and Chinese cultures have a huge influence on the region, which are central to the MINISO design aesthetic. These are reflected in its IP partnerships, as its most popular in the region are Hello Kitty, Sanrio, and Budding Pop.
Like Huang, Liu sees e-commerce as a huge opportunity in Southeast Asia. He explained that MINISO’s e-commerce sales jumped 250% in the first quarter of last year compared to the same quarter in 2020, and online channel sales accounted for 13% of its total sales. in Indonesia during this quarter.
MINISO is currently adopting a 7-1-1 strategy, which means that every seven days it will launch about 100 carefully selected new products from a vast library of 10,000 product ideas. The goal is that customers will never be bored when exploring its stores, because there will always be something new.
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