International lifestyle and beauty retailer MINISO capitalizes on pandemic rebound in US

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (AlenaPaulus)
© Getty Images \ (AlenaPaulus)

Related tags retail China discount

The China-based, Japanese-inspired lifestyle and beauty retailer has been opening a new store nearly everyday for the past 12 months and now MINISO is focusing on the east coast, moving North American headquarters from Los Angeles to New York City.

In business since 2013, low-cost retailer MINISO sells a mix of cosmetics, food items, household goods, and toys. The company’s selection of beauty products includes popular categories and product formats such as scented moisturizing body sprays, fragrance, liquid lipstick, and sheet masks.

Low-cost retail expansion strategy

From May 2020 to May 2021, MINISO opened 364 doors around the world. 70% of those new retail stores are in mid-size cities (Tier 3 and Tier 4) in China. But the company has a presence in some 94 international markets, across Europe and Southeast Asia; and some of the retailer’s newer stores are in Iceland, Malta, New Caledonia, the Canary Islands, Vietnam, and Laos.

North America—particularly the US and Mexico—are key markets for the retailer. And the company’s plans to expand both in brick-and-mortar and online retail are not slowing down.

“We will continue to make efforts in overseas markets, not only to further develop new markets and existing markets, but also to further localize,” ​says Vincent Huang, MINISO's Vice President of International Business, in a recent press release.

MINISO sees opportunity in 'post-COVID' US market

According to company data, MINISO year-over-year sales revenue here in the US was up nearly 73% for the first half 2021. And consumer cart size has been increasing for the retailer this year as well.

Huang believes that, the “improved performance in the United States reveals the underlying resilience of local economic fundamentals.”

“As the economy re-opens,” ​he says, “consumers sitting on a pile of savings will spend on experiences as well as goods that a brand like MINISO offers. We stand ready to ride the wave of a revitalized US economy by bringing MINISO to the homes of the American people.”

To best capitalize on this opportunity, MINISO has relocated its North American headquarters from Los Angeles, California, to New York City. Though the company’s offices in LA are still open, and like those is Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, now function as logistics hubs.

“Its New York City office, which will oversee both US and Canada operations, will host sales, marketing, and administrative duties,” ​according to a press release issued late last week by the MINISO Group.

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