Global Chinese retailer MINISO has apologised for presenting the company as a Japanese designer brand in an earlier marketing strategy. The brand said that it will complete the process of “de-japanising” its stores and renovation of decoration by March 2023. According to the official statement on its weibo account released on 18 August, MINISO said from 2015 to 2018, when the company was in the early stages of its globalisation, it recruited Japanese designer Miyake Junya as its chief designer, which then resulted in promoting itself as a ‘Japanese designer brand’.
The statement added that the company took a wrong direction in brand positioning and marketing in the early stage of development. As a result, the company has been de-japanising its stores since 2019 by removing any Japanese designer branding elements and upgrading the brand as lifestyle gathering store.
Furthermore, the brand has replaced all Japanese style shopping bags since 2020. It has completed the renovation of 3100 physical stores in China, changing the logo to Chinese from October 2021 until March this year. The whole process is scheduled to be completed by March next year. The brand also said that it realised some executives had made serious mistakes when making overseas promotions of the brand. MINISO will take suitable measures to punish the person accountable for the incident. In addition, the brand has decided to take back all accounts run by agencies and review every single piece of content yet to be published.
MINISO concluded that it is a Chinese company and will continue to incorporate Chinese culture and trends into its products, in order to encourage consumers spending in China.
Previously, MINISO has faced heat for labelling Chinese cheongsam as Japanese geisha. Its branch in Spain has apologised for mistranslating the Chinese cheongsam toy into a Japanese geisha toy. According to the official statement on MINISO’s Spanish Instgram account, MINISO Spain has made a post on Instagram on 25 July upon the launch of the Disney Princess blind box product, and saw consumers correcting the brand's mistake.
“After receiving the users' feedback, we removed the post instantly. We sincerely apologise for this misunderstanding and we will reflect on the damage this has caused to our Chinese friends and all MINISO fans,” said the statement.
The statement added that as cheongsam originated from China and is well known around the world. It added that the brand admires the long historical civilisation and splendid cultural achievements of China. “In the future, MINISO Spain will strengthen and educate our team to ensure that we deliver the right cultural value to the public, and bring better products and consumption experience to our consumers,” it said.
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