MINISO’s American Dream: A New Era of IP-Driven Expansion

On May 3, MINISO celebrated the grand opening of its first IP collector store in the United States, located in the American Dream Mall, New Jersey. The event featured lively performances by Dun Dun Chicken and Penpen, two beloved MINISO self-owned popular characters.

MINISO‘s IP Collection Store at the New Jersey American Dream Mall
The Penpen Inflatable from MINISO‘s MINI Family Collection Welcoming People at American Dream Mall’s Atrium

In this past year, MINISO has aggressively expanded across the country, including in the greater New York metropolitan area. Notably, the brand has established two strategically placed stores in Times Square. The New Jersey store in American Dream, however, represents a strategic milestone for MINISO. It is the brand’s first venture into an IP collection store and marks its initial foray into a shopping mall that primarily serves local families instead of tourists. This strategic shift highlights MINISO‘s commitment to integrating more deeply into the local community and aligning with the preferences of domestic consumers.

Shoppers Exploring MINISO‘s Products at the IP Collection Store On the Grand Opening Day

2023 was a transformative year for MINISO as it embarked on a significant rebranding initiative. Previously recognized for its affordability, MINISO has upgraded its brand positioning as Global IP Collection Store. This new transition was firstly raised in the brand’s upgrading event last year, and it was catalyzed by the opening of its flagship store in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, New York, London, Singapore, and many more places around the world, which met with overwhelming positive reception. MINISO recognized that competing on affordable price alone was no longer viable in the marketplace. “We’ve observed a trend where young consumers are reducing spending on essentials, but they’re much more willing to spend on goods meet with their interest.” Consumers are increasingly seeking superior shopping experiences, which could resonate their emotional connection with the product, the store, and the brand. Under this new trend, MINISO solidified its commitment to an IP-centric strategy. “People’s willingness to invest in IP-related, emotionally resonant products remains strong. This aligns perfectly with the new direction MINISO is taking,” Chang Chen, PR Director at MINISO, explained.

The Swimming Pool-themed Popup Area at the Shopping Mall Atrium

Despite diverging from its initial model as a retailer of small commodities, MINISO‘s extensive history in the market has enabled it to forge a robust and efficient supply chain. The company implemented an innovative 7-1-1 launching strategy, where every seven days, MINISO introduces 100 new products selected from a vast pool of 10,000 potential items. This strategy ensures that customers consistently encounter fresh and appealing products with each visit, and this number has still been steadily increasing.

This strategic advantage has been preserved even after MINISO‘s brand upgrade. Today, MINISO collaborates with over 100 IP licensers. When questioned about why IP holders are keen to collaborate with MINISO, Chang Chen underscored the company’s strengths in IP integration and supply chain management. “MINISO has extensive distribution network in the market and has developed a wide array of SKUs across various categories. This allows us to seamlessly incorporate these IPs into our high-quality, yet affordable products,” Chang explained.

Moreover, MINISO‘s extensive network of offline sales channels is a cornerstone of its business model. In contrast to most Chinese companies that expand overseas using a direct-to-consumer model without developing their own sales networks, MINISO excels in extending its channels internationally, alongside its products and brands. “We operate 6400+ stores worldwide. Partnering with us offers IP holders immediate access to our extensive customer base, significantly enhancing their brand visibility and awareness,” Chen noted. This synergy between MINISO‘s operational strengths and its collaborations with IP holders creates a mutually beneficial relationship, boosting the market presence of both MINISO and the IPs it showcases. This approach aims to create a vibrant emotional connection between customers and the IPs, enriching the shopping experience and deepening customer engagement.

Building on this strategy, the newly opened 4200-square-foot store in New Jersey embodies a dreamlike retail design with an all-pink interior, creating an immersive shopping environment centered on MINISO’s cherished IPs, organized into distinct IP zones. Shoppers can discover a range of MINISO’s celebrated IP collaborations, including iconic names like Disney, Snoopy, Barbie, Minions, Care Bears, and MINISO’s original IP, MINI Family. True to its slogan ‘Life is for Fun’, the store design promotes interaction, inviting consumers to engage with their favorite characters and products in specially crafted engagement zones.

MINISO‘s Popular IP Collections from Minions, Barbie to its Original Collection MINI Family

Looking towards the future, MINISO has set an ambitious goal: by 2028, the company aims for 50% of its revenue to be generated from IP-related products. This strategic direction reflects a broader trend in the retail industry, where leveraging popular IPs has become a key tactic for enhancing product appeal and engaging consumers more deeply. This approach not only differentiates MINISO in a competitive market but also aligns with evolving consumer preferences, who are increasingly drawn to brands that offer unique and meaningful experiences tied to beloved characters and themes.

Consumers Having Great Fun On the Store Opening Day

MINISO‘s forward-looking vision and its commitment to innovation and growth in the global retail landscape, which strengthens MINISO‘s position as a leader in the competitive IP-centric retail market. “MINISO is not a regular retailer. We are a player in the game of IP branding. We are branding Chinese supply chains to global customers.”

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