Although variety stores was negatively affected by the temporary closure of stores during the pandemic in 2020, it returned to strong growth in 2021. One reason for the strong rebound was increasing consumer price-consciousness in light of the pandemic, recognising the importance of savings at such a difficult time.
The closure of physical stores during the lockdown resulted in losses for many variety stores in 2020. Given the tough conditions, retailers leveraged networks of consumer community groups on social media platforms to facilitate the convenient and safe placing of orders during lockdowns.
In order to improve consumers’ shopping experiences, branded variety stores have been optimising and developing their omnichannel strategies. For example, whilst Miniso has expanded from store-based variety stores to selling online, Yanxuan, which started with its own e-commerce platform, has opened physical stores to provide consumers with an in-person shopping experience with direct access to products.
Miniso is one notable player within variety stores which has regularly released IP cobranded products to attract consumers, such as those with Marvel, Sesame Street, Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse, meeting the preferences of younger consumers in particular. In 2021, Miniso also cooperated with video community Bilibili to launch an IP-themed store.
In order to attract more consumers and maintain customer loyalty, Miniso’s approach will be to continue to use the community to deploy private e-commerce. For instance, it has set up a social community operation team, integrating the loyal fans accumulated on the WeChat official account, Weibo, Douyin and other channels into the private domain traffic pool, and managing them in groups.
With more players stepping into the channel, consumers are placing an increasingly strong emphasis on the benefits variety stores offer. Muji (Shanghai) has a traditional and relatively mature membership system.
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Variety stores are chained or independent retail outlets with a primary focus on selling a range of merchandise across several categories. Variety stores are chained or independent retail outlets with a primary focus on selling a range of merchandise across several categories, although they may also sell grocery items. Includes fixed-price stores (e.g. dollar stores) and catalogue showrooms. Example brands include Dollar General, Woolworth (Germany), and Miniso.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Variety Stores research and analysis database.
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