Chinese retailer opens $ 10 stores in Maryland as inflation rises

A fast-growing, low-cost Chinese retailer is set to open two stores in Maryland on Saturday in hopes of attracting young adults looking for cheap goods.

The new Miniso stores in Bethesda and Columbia will feature products under $ 10 as dollar stores struggle with rising inflation.

Andrew Xie, the North American general manager of Miniso, said the stores are well-timed to attract “hard-working young adults” who “will accept a higher range of acceptable affordability in exchange for an enhanced product experience.”

“It’s the perfect market opportunity to introduce the ’10 N ‘Under’ concept to our fast-growing Miniso stores in North America. The $ 10 store is the future of Gen Z shopping,” he said.

The retailer launched its $ 10 concept last month with stores in Tysons Corner in northern Virginia and in California. The company, which arrived in the US on the west coast in April 2017, also plans to open 15 stores “from coast to coast” within the next two months.

In an article for Inside Retail on April 6, retail analyst Philip Wiggenraad said Miniso has experienced “explosive growth” by leveraging a digital strategy to open more than 4,500 stores worldwide in the eight years it has been in existence.

The chain’s expansion comes as dollar stores struggle to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, while offering fewer and fewer items for $ 1 as inflation rises.

The Dollar General recently said it will have to raise the prices of many items above $ 1 for the first time.

While Miniso may be aimed at the thrifty customers of dollar stores, the upstart has a way to go to reach sales, which Dollar General, Dollar Tree and its subsidiary, Family Dollar, have picked up.

Dollar Trees’ $ 25.5 billion revenue in fiscal year 2021 dwarfs, for example, Miniso Group’s $ 9 billion.

Dollar Tree saw a 22% drop in net revenue to $ 1.3 billion during the peak of the pandemic, but it is struggling to find new ways to serve its customers.

Dollar Tree said this week that Instacart will offer same-day delivery within an hour of 7,000 stores, expanding an event that already exists in 6,000 Family Dollar stores nationwide.

“We are excited to expand the reach of these leading retailers and bring their incredible range of discounted items to more households across the country,” said Carolyn Everson, President of Instacart, in a statement.

In addition to new services, the dollar chains are expanding both in terms of number of locations and the products they sell.

Miniso, for its part, must also overcome the criticism that it has pretended to be a Japanese company since the opening of its first store in China in 2013.

The company claims to have been co-founded by a Japanese designer, who may or may not exist, according to media reports in China and Japan.

It describes itself online as a “Japanese-inspired lifestyle product retailer” hiding its origins in a Chinese holding company on the Chinese mainland.

The shops sell home furnishings and organizers, beauty and wellness items, fashion accessories, stuffed animals and electronics. The company has licensing agreements to sell Marvel, Mickey Mouse & Friends, Sanrio, We Bare Bears and Coca-Cola products.

The shops open on Saturday in the Mall at Columbia and Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda.

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