Many people think that Miniso is a Japanese brand, similar to Daiso and Uniqlo. But it had never been a Japanese company. It is a Chinese retail, listed under the country. The name and the concept are Japanese, thanks to its Japanese co-founder and designer, Jun’ya Miyake. Miyake, together with a Chinese entrepreneur, Ye Guofu founded the company in September 2013.
Within six years, the company has been one of the world’s biggest retail. From Asia, Southeast Asia, USA, Europe, to Africa, Miniso has its shops planted in most countries. With only one round of funding in 2018, Miniso revenue is reported to reach $2.5 billion in 2018.
Has the Japan thing done well for Miniso?
The strategy is easy enough. The retail brings a very Japanese design for various goods including cosmetics, stationery, toys and kitchenware. But instead of the high price usually set with Japanese goods, it sells their goods much cheaper. Just like any other Chinese goods.
The Japanese branding is not just because its’ design. It’s partly because even Chinese value Japanese goods more than the made in Chinas. So initially, the branding was to ‘deceive’ the Chinese customers as a marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, the marketing team was not thorough in doing this Japanese branding thing. It was once been laughed at for its’ poorly named goods. Just as the team had admitted, they used online translation site to name the goods.
But Miniso had achieved something that no other retail had ever done. It was the first international retail shop ever to open in North Korea back in 2018. However, it didn’t last long. The price still too pricey for North Korean commoners, only pursuable by the rich in the country. Some problem with the Japanese branding led the shop to change its name to Evolution and stop importing goods from China.