I visited the Ibadan store of Japanese brand Miniso. It was a mixed feeling of excitement and weirdness.
After several months of anticipation of what it has to offer, Japanese brand, Miniso, has finally opened its outlet at the Palm’s Mall Ring Road Ibadan. I visited last Friday for a shopping experience and to take pictures of the latest international brand that has expanded to Ibadan.
Initially, I thought Miniso would be another Shoprite but this is not the case as the model is quite different from Shoprite’s the most important being that everything being sold in the store was produced by Miniso. You will never see anything other than a Miniso product in the outlet.
When you enter the store, you are greeted in a fashion that reminds you of Domino’s Pizza. One of the employees will say “Customer in the house” and the rest will respond “Welcome to Miniso” in chorus. While I can’t really say who invented that greeting, I can only say that maybe they need to remix that in order to stay unique.
Being just few shops away from Shoprite meant that it may risk losing some customers to the giant retail outlet from South Africa but as compensation, probably a strategy to avoid this, Miniso’s outlet at the mall has lots of offerings that you would not see in Shoprite. I will get to that in a bit.
While the store appears consistent with pictures of Miniso outlets in other parts of the world, when you enter, you kinda feel welcome and relaxed probably due to oomph and high energy of their employees who also appear to be well trained and well mannered – even though they are fellow Nigerians and Ibadan residents. Only a really good training would provide that and this is something that other outlets with saucy and annoying employees need to embrace. Train the workers very well and they will not spoil your brand name in a highly competitive market.
So, I was really surprised by the vast array of products that Miniso has to offer. While many are interesting suggesting quality research prior to product development, and reflecting in good understanding of the targeted user, many on the other hand feel so weird to an Ibadan man who would still buy them just to experience them and since the price isn’t too much. One cool product was a coffee mug that comes with a spoon and cover. Everything when arranged looks really good. I also bought a very useful item hanger for my car. I tried it with my groceries and it worked really fine.
On the other hand, the funny items on display are the massage tools. They are really pocket friendly and weird looking and you won’t know when you will buy one for yourself. Luckily for me, I hated massage so much so I didn’t pick any of those. But I enjoyed the attempts of the staff who wanted me to buy as many things as possible.
Now if you’re going there, you would think the small size of the store would suggest that you won’t spend much. But this is misleading. You won’t know when you would be spending N38,000 just like the lady that paid before me. And they have a trick to get you to buy more stuffs – items worth 10% of your purchase when you buy stuffs worth at least N14,600.
They don’t sell edible stuffs but they are big on air freshers and wipes. They have their line of household items especially stuffs for the bathroom and kitchen. They also sell fashionable glasses and overpriced scarfs (I believe they can’t sell much of those scarfs in Ibadan when we have Agbeni and Ogunpa. But I can be wrong since the spending power of many Ibadan residents is on the rise).
The minimum item they sell at the store is N990 and it goes up from there. I believe the expensive ones are the wireless earphones. They have good lights and the workers are quite welcoming – cheering you and encouraging you to shop till you spend your last kobo.
The only major issue that I have with the outlet is that they only had one pay point when I visited, I saw another one but wasn’t in use probably because there weren’t much shoppers when I visited. Even when both points are in use, I doubt they would be able to cope with the pressure on shopping holidays.
Pro-tip: If you are taking your lady there and you don’t want her to spend much, don’t let her get to the bags, purses and electronics. Quickly buy her feminine products and don’t let those workers convince you otherwise cos I’m sure they will.
Check the pictures of the store below