Questionable origins may spell doom for newcomer Miniso

15:42 | 12/07/2016
Retailer Miniso could be off to a rocky start as Vietnamese consumers question the brand’s credibility.

Right after news site reported that Miniso, “a Japanese retail brand,” is going to open stores in Vietnam this August, Vietnamese netizens as well as local media outlets have been asking whether the brand is Japanese or Chinese.

Some Japanese nationals and overseas Vietnamese people commented that they had never heard of the brand. Many people have pointed out that the Miniso logo is a combination of the logos of two famous Japanese retail brands, Daiso and Uniqlo. 

Miniso was founded in 2013 by Japanese designer Miyake Junya and Chinese businessman Ye Guofu, chairman of retailer Aiyaya Co., Ltd. Junya leads the design team, while Ye Guofu manages every other aspect of the operation of the Miniso chain. At the moment, Miniso only has four stores in Tokyo, but about 1,000 in China.

All Miniso stores sell products sourced and manufactured in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia. According to photos posted by customers, the Japanese on the labels on the packaging of goods sold at Miniso stores is substandard.

Whether the brand is Japanese or Chinese is difficult to determine because it was co-founded by a Japanese designer and a Chinese businessman. Earlier this year, when the brand entered Singapore, the founders reaffirmed in an interview with Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times that the brand is Japanese.

It is unclear how this is going to affect the upcoming operation of the Miniso brand in Vietnam, but the issue of origin is expected to hold great relevancy in the eyes of customers. In the Southeast Asian country, goods made in Japan are viewed as high quality and are very much sought after, while goods made in China have a bad reputation.

Japanese retailer Miniso sets foot in Vietnam

By By Ha Duy

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