Marvel x Miniso store rides superhero wave

Why the Japanese retailer partnered with Disney's franchise juggernaut to co-brand a concept store.

Marvel Grand Opening 4 (1)

This isn’t Miniso’s first rodeo when it comes to brand partnerships, but it is the biggest. The Japanese discount retailer is tapping into pop culture with the launch of a concept store alongside Disney’s media franchise Marvel.

Marvel x Miniso opened on August 31 in the retailer’s Vaughan Mills location and drew hundreds of attendees. The retailer carries its regular Miniso product lines, except branded with Marvel superhero characters. Items include auto accessories, electronics, footwear, cosmetics and tools, home products, stationary, and plush toys. The opening of the store also saw traditional Japanese drummers, giveaways, a Marvel-themed photo booth and reps from Disney.

Tyson Yu, digital marketing manager at Miniso, says the store’s line of “cute, stylish, fashionable products that everyone relates to” is being bolstered by its association with an established brand like Marvel. He adds that discussions about a collaboration with Marvel began in spring 2018, and that Marvel-themed Miniso stores have sprouted up globally in places like Singapore and the Philippines.

Marvel Grand Opening -drumming

When it comes to the Vaughan Mills launch, Yu says the brand received support from around 20 local and national lifestyle and beauty influencers and video content creators from the GTA, some of whom were tapped for meet-and-greets to further create buzz. The family-friendly Vaughan Mills location was selected because it’s Miniso’s highest trafficked store, Yu says, adding that this one is a test case, with more Marvel x Miniso stores coming later this year.

He adds that part of the marketing strategy was to tease single products on social media instead of showcasing the entire product line. It revealed pint-sized Hulks, Iron Men and Captain Americas on pillows and tumblers using the hashtag #miniheroes, unveiling a different one as part of its “countdown series,” where it counted down the days to the launch of the new store. Yu says there is consistent traffic at the new store, and that Miniso is still promoting it through digital and social to keep the momentum going.

While Miniso’s regular stores typically draw a 25- to 34-year-old crowd, Yu says the launch was strategically timed around the back-to-school period in order to reach an audience of parents and their young kids.

Miniso Canada-MINISO Canada Officially Launches the First Ever -

The brand is popular among Canadians because they are attracted to the retailer’s value and quality products proposition, says Yu. Earlier this year, Miniso opened a shop-in-shop inside the Walmart Stockyards urban concept store that’s in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto. Another Minoso-in-a-Walmart is coming to Victoria, BC shortly. The brand currently operates 67 stores in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories. Miniso opened its first Canadian store in Vancouver in 2017 and has previously sold We Bare Bears and Pink Panther-branded merchandise.

In March, Miniso Canada announced its Chinese parent company, the Miniso Group, had taken over its Canadian operations. Miniso Group had applied for bankruptcy protection for Miniso Canada and was granted creditor protection by a B.C. court this summer to allow its domestic operations to restructure.

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