eCommerce insight

MINISO and Pop Mart have been expanding their market into SEA, what brings them a fast-growing expansion?

image-20240524-073827In recent years, Intellectual Property (IP) stores have become a cultural phenomenon, especially among Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Retailers like MINISO and Pop Mart are at the forefront of this trend, creating immersive shopping experiences that captivate young consumers.

MINISO, a global lifestyle brand, has aggressively expanded its IP collection stores. Recently, it opened its first IP store in Vietnam near Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, featuring merchandise from popular franchises like BT21, We Bare Bears, Pokémon, and more. Simultaneously, MINISO launched a 4,000-square-foot IP store at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey, continuing its rapid expansion in the US market.

Similarly, Pop Mart, a collectible toy retailer, has announced its entry into Vietnam with two stores in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. This move follows a successful financial year with a 107.6% increase in net profit. Pop Mart also opened its first Nevada store on the Las Vegas Strip, marking its eighth US location, and continues to grow its presence worldwide with over 450 stores in more than 30 countries.

So how do IP stores become a game changer?

Understanding the Appeal

One of the addicting points is the “blind boxes“.

The company frequently partners with designers to produce figurines that are sold in blind boxes. These figurines usually come in sets with various designs, and customers do not know which one they have purchased until they open the box, adding an element of surprise and excitement. Some sets include special, more elusive designs known as "secret" or "chase" figures, which are more difficult to find. This rarity fuels the enthusiasm for IP stores like Pop Mart and MINISO, as many collectors seek to obtain these unique items either for their personal collections or for resale.

The fascination with IP stores among Gen Z and Gen Alpha can be attributed to several key factors:

  1. Nostalgia and Emotional Connection: Many of these IPs have been part of the childhood of Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Visiting these stores allows them to reconnect with their favorite characters and stories, evoking a sense of nostalgia and emotional warmth.

  2. Community and Belonging: These stores foster a sense of community. Fans gather not just to shop but to meet others who share their interests. Special events, themed days, and exclusive releases create a buzz that makes fans feel like part of an exclusive club.

  3. Unique and Exclusive Merchandise: IP stores often offer products that can't be found elsewhere. From limited edition collectibles to exclusive apparel, the promise of owning something unique drives foot traffic and sales.

  4. Experiential Retail: The immersive environments of IP stores are designed to be Instagrammable, encouraging visitors to share their experiences online. This not only amplifies the store’s visibility but also enhances the shopper’s personal brand on social media.

Lessons for Retail Brands

Retail brands looking to replicate the success of IP stores for their online business can draw several lessons from this phenomenon:

  1. Create Emotional Connections: Develop content and products that resonate emotionally with your audience. Storytelling is key—whether it’s through blog posts, videos, or interactive online experiences, make your customers feel something.

  2. Foster a Community: Build an online community where your customers can interact with each other. Social media groups, online forums, and virtual events can help create a sense of belonging. Engage with your audience regularly and encourage user-generated content to foster a sense of ownership and loyalty.

  3. Offer Exclusive Products: Introduce limited edition or exclusive products that can only be purchased through your online store. Collaborate with influencers or popular brands to create unique offerings that generate excitement and urgency.

  4. Enhance Online Experiences: Create immersive online shopping experiences. Utilize virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) to allow customers to explore products in a more engaging way. Ensure your website is visually appealing and easy to navigate, with plenty of interactive elements.

  5. Leverage Social Media: Make your online presence as Instagrammable as your physical store would be. Encourage customers to share their purchases and experiences on social media. Run contests, offer incentives for sharing, and collaborate with influencers to expand your reach.

  6. Personalization and Customization: Use data analytics to understand your customers’ preferences and tailor their shopping experience accordingly. Offer personalized recommendations and allow for product customization to make each purchase feel unique.

The craze for IP stores among Gen Z and Gen Alpha highlights the importance of emotional connections, community, exclusive offerings, and immersive experiences in retail. By understanding and implementing these elements, retail brands can enhance their online presence and build stronger relationships with their customers. Embracing these strategies will not only attract younger consumers but also create a loyal customer base that feels deeply connected to your brand.



News source:

Chinese toy company brings 1st Nevada store to Las Vegas Strip

Pop Mart expands into Vietnam as profit more than doubles

Pop Mart taps into art, toy culture

POP MART: Are your eyes wide open about blind boxes?

Miniso Opens First IP Collection Store

MINISO Expands Global Reach with First US IP Collection Store Opening in New Jersey in Line with Global IP Strategy

Balmain and Pop Mart release 999 limited edition Space Mollys




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