The variety store channel continued to benefit from strong growth in terms of number of outlets in 2018, thanks in large part to the expansion of new players Mumuso and Miniso. Miniso trailed the channel’s leader Daiso but is slowly catching up, having opened its 60th store in 2018.
The strength of variety stores in the Philippines can be attributed to their low-cost products, which make them very attractive to price-sensitive Filipinos. Daiso has a single-price business model, although higher priced products are also available in its stores.
In other countries, Miniso and Mumuso were accused of misleading consumers about the origins of their products. In the Philippines, consumers were aware of this issue but as no legal action ensued, it was business as usual for these chains.
SM Retail, the local retail partner of Miniso, has recognised the significant contribution of the latter to its growth. In 2017, SM Retail recorded a solid performance across the board as a result of its retail merger and also the addition of Miniso variety stores to its portfolio.
With the aggressive expansion of new players, Daiso Japan has revamped its store concept so as to offer something new and fresh to its customers. Daiso re-opened a Sakura-themed flagship store in Robinsons Galleria to bring Japanese culture closer to the Philippines.
The iconic Japanese household and apparel company MUJI has been struggling in the Philippines due to a limited product range and prices which are said to be 50-60% higher than in Japan. This led to the company streamlining its operations by closing three stores in 2017, although it has expressed an intention to open a new outlet by 2019.
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