Life The Japanese super store taking on Target and Kmart
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The Japanese super store taking on Target and Kmart

Miniso stocks affordable clothing, homewares, electronics, food and more. Photo: Getty
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Japanese retail giant Miniso has plans to expand into up to 250 stores across Australia by 2020, with some expected to open as soon as June.

Miniso, which was co-founded in Tokyo by a Japanese designer and Chinese entrepreneur, has already opened stores in Hurstville, Bondi Junction and Chatswood Westfields, and plans to open 10 more stores in both Melbourne and Sydney by the end of this year.

Impulse shoppers can look forward to Japanese-designed products ranging from cosmetics to homewares, accessories, fashion jewellery, stationery, electronic gadgets, food products and clothing at budget prices.

Existing stores currently stock about 2200 items, a number that is expected to grow to 3000 within the next four months.

The company’s retail property consultant Lawrence Brown, managing director of Complete Retail Services, likened Miniso to a “lower market Muji”.

Its products are designed in Japan and manufactured in China, he said.

“We’re currently looking at sites in Sydney and Melbourne, and there is quite a lot of opportunity in Australia,” Mr Brown told The New Daily.

“In New South Wales, our focus will be moreso on shopping centres, whereas in Victoria we’ll be looking at expanding into both shopping centres and shopping strips like Swanston Street, Chapel Street, Richmond and Camberwell.

“The great thing about Miniso is that it can be situated in an affluent suburb or an area with a low demographic.”

Another 60 stores were expected to launch in 2018 across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.

Over the next three years, at least 150 stores will be rolled out across the nation including in Tasmania and Western Australia, with 40 stores in both Melbourne and Sydney.

A Miniso storefront in Beijing, China. Photo: Getty
A Miniso storefront in Beijing, China. Photo: Getty

Mr Brown said there were 300 new stock items arriving each month, providing variety to customers.

“At the moment cosmetics are making up about 15 to 20 per cent of our turnover,” Mr Brown said.

“The price point is so unique. You could walk out with three to five items and you won’t spend more than $40.

“The cosmetics range will appeal to younger girls who might not be able to afford expensive perfume, for example. Our fashion hats range from $5 to $15.

“I think our products are a lot better in quality than what you’ll find in Target or Kmart and offer more variety than just your basic design. Japanese do design a step above everyone else.”

The Australian stores will open as part of the company’s worldwide expansion, as about 150 stores open each week globally.

Miniso has expanded rapidly since the company’s launch in 2011.

It currently has more than 1400 stores across Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and more recently in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Shoppers peruse Miniso's many offerings. Photo: Getty
Shoppers peruse Miniso’s many offerings. Photo: Getty

Australian Retailers’ Association executive director Russell Zimmerman told The New Daily Miniso’s expansion into the Australian market was a positive move from both a consumer and employment perspective.

“There are a lot of Asian people in Australia who I’m sure will be familiar with the brand and will want to shop there,” he said.

“As more and more retailers from overseas enter our market, it will ensure Australian retailers remain competitive.”

But he said the added competition could hurt Australian retailers such as Target, which have struggled in recent years.

“We’ll see Amazon come to Australia too, so this will be another disruption to the market,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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