“The dedicated toy section allows every Miniso customer to experience the immense fun and joy brought about by our toys, while enjoying the treasure hunt shopping experience in our store,” said Vincent Huang, VP of the international business department at Miniso in a statement.
However, Huang is coy to reveal details around its expansion strategy, simply saying: “I can share that we do have plans for Peninsular Malaysia.”
Since expanding into Malaysia, Miniso has customised its product offering to cater to the region’s “melting pot of ethnicities, religions and cultures”, Huang told Inside Retail.
“As a global lifestyle retailer, approximately 70 to 80 percent of our product portfolio is similar across the world, while the remaining 20 to 30 percent are unique products that have been designed and chosen according to trends and consumer demands from different local markets,” Huang explained.
“For instance, Miniso has partnered with over 75 IP licensors around the world, who own many popular brands including Marvel, Tom & Jerry, and Coca-Cola. These western brands are also very well-received in Malaysia.”
He also noted that consumers in Malaysia as well as the greater Southeast Asian region, are heavily influenced by Japanese and Korean pop culture and appreciate products that embody this aesthetic.
Consumer behaviour within the Asia Pacific region and more specifically within the Malaysian market, has now shifted to one of multiple touchpoints, so Miniso has also embraced an omnichannel approach to provide a seamless shopping experience to its clientele.
Miniso has a localised website in Malaysia and also maintains a presence across popular social media platforms in the region.
“Internet penetration rate in Malaysia is now over 80 percent and the number of active social media users also increased quite a bit over the years,which brings about huge potential in social commerce and the rise of local influencers in Malaysia,” Huang said.
Given the current economic climate, it seems that Miniso’s core philosophy of quality, easy-to-use and affordable products are meeting consumer needs right now.
“Malaysian consumers have experienced muted inflationary pressures in the post-pandemic environment, as a result, people are more conscious when it comes to spending,” Huang said.
“The company also plans to crossover with different industries to create more value for its consumers.
Jack Ye, the founder of Miniso, always believed in the “good quality with low price” mantra for his company’s products. With the current state of global supply chain problems, inflationary cost pressures and more discerning customers, staying ahead of the competition is something Miniso has achieved with considerable success.
“Miniso is a typical DTC brand. Our products come from factories to our stores and reach consumers directly without many intermediate steps. As such, we can maximise the benefits to consumers and receive feedback and responses directly from them. We’ll then take the customer insights we gained and reflect them in our products,” said Huang.
He added that by leveraging China’s massive supply chain in the lifestyle product sector, Miniso is able to bulk buy merchandise.
“We make sure to pay our suppliers on time and utilise digital tools to improve and optimise our supply chain,” he said.
“As of December 31, 2021, Miniso has a network of over 1,000 supplier partners, both domestically and internationally, thanks to our well-established relationship, Miniso has strong bargaining power and flexible cost control and pricing models so that we can better cope with rising costs than our peers.”
Huang explained that Miniso has leased 20 warehouses to distribute products, eight of which are overseas and will be used for deliveries to nearby markets, further reducing logistics and transport costs.
In terms of store operations, all Miniso stores in mainland China are equipped with their proprietary intelligent store management system, which provides sales and inventory data in real time, as well as suggestions based on big data analysis.
Store managers can then replenish the inventory with tailored options to achieve rapid inventory turnover, thus reducing inventory costs.
An eclectic design team
The design team behind Miniso is quite diverse, from its Japanese chief designer, Miyake Junya, to its design studios such as Permafrost (Norway), Pentagon (Finland), Bambu Studio (Spain) and Lucas& Lucas (Netherlands).
Huang believes that Miniso’s determination to deliver trendy, visually pleasing and well-designed products are meeting the fast changing consumer preferences and needs.
“Our strong product design and development capabilities are key to our goal. Miniso invests quite heavily in this respect.”
The company has a team of 124 in-house designers and 37 external partners, including world-renowned designers, professional studios and academies from nine countries.
“With the addition of the aforementioned intellectual property (IP) strategy, Miniso is able to launch new products frequently and keep customers coming back,” Huang said.
Huang hopes to work with world-renowned licensors such as Disney and Marvel in the future as these brands already have a large fan base globally.
Miniso’’s Q2 2022 revenue increased by 20.7 percent to US$435.1 million and international operations rose 54.9 percent YoY to US$112.6 million. In spite of the pandemic and global uncertainty, these were stellar results.
According to Huang, the company was able to achieve these results due to three reasons.
Firstly, the business model of Miniso has demonstrated great resilience and flexibility under extreme market conditions.
Secondly, as the pandemic control loosened up and international borders reopened, Miniso was able to recover and grow its overseas business.
“As of March 31, 2022, we have 1,916 overseas stores across the globe. Our globalised operation provided us with more space and flexibility for future growth compared to our peers,” he added.
Thirdly, as the global retail industry continues to experience inflationary pressures, customers are looking for good value, and this is a huge opportunity for Miniso.
“Besides the supply chain advantage I’ve mentioned, we are also capable of maintaining a healthy inventory level. Inventory turnover days worldwide for Miniso have returned to around 60-70 days, which is industry-leading and a relatively normalised level of pre-pandemic,” he concluded.