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10 yuan variety store MINISO opens in Vancouver

Chinese-Japanese variety store MINISO — best described as a cross between MUJI, Daiso, UNIQLO and Dollarama — is now open on West Broadway in Vancouver.

A second Vancouver location at 550 Granville Street in the downtown core will have its grand opening this weekend.

The variety store chain was started by Japanese designer Junya Miyake and Chinese entrepreneur Ye Guo Fu in 2011, and already has over 1,800 stores worldwide. In 2015, sales revenue reached $770 million, a remarkable accomplishment for such a young retailer.

With a goal of opening 6,000 stores globally by 2020, MINISO’s rapid-fire growth has averaged at 80 to 100 store openings per month.

The location at 1256 West Broadway in Vancouver is MINISO’s first store in Canada. Two more locations recently opened at Tsawwassen Mills and on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. Additional locations opening this summer include Richmond and SFU Cornerstone. 

Granville Street MINISO grand opening

MINISO will hold the official grand opening of their new, 4,900 sq ft. Granville Street store on August 12, 2017.

The official grand opening at 550 Granville Street gets underway at 11 a.m., with shoppers treated to a musical performance, ribbon cutting ceremony and complementary treats.

MINISO says their existing locations at Tsawwassen Mills and West Broadway have had higher than expected sales, which has helped bolster confidence in the company’s aggressive growth plans for Canada.

“We’re excited to grow in the Metro Vancouver retail market with the opening of our three new locations,” says Yi Ma, vice-president of business development. “We have our eye on further expansion in the city and hope to continue to provide high quality products and competitive prices to our customers all around the Lower Mainland.”

MINISO 550 Granville Street downtown Vancouver
Exterior of downtown Vancouver location at 550 Granville Street. Credit: MINISO
MINISO stationery
Stationery assortment. Credit: MINISO
Cosmetics assortment at Granville Street location. Credit: MINISO
Electronics display at Granville Street location. Credit: MINISO

Current MINISO locations

  • Tsawwassen Mills
  • 1256 W Broadway, Vancouver
  • 550 Granville Street, downtown Vancouver

Upcoming MINISO store openings

  • 8010 Saba Road, Richmond
  • 8920 University High Street, Burnaby, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Park Royal Shopping Centre, West Vancouver
  • Guildford Town Centre, Surrey
  • Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, Abbotsford
  • Coquitlam Centre, Coquitlam
  • Lynn Valley Centre, North Vancouver

MINISO offers a mix of stationery, consumer goods, cosmetics, home decor, accessories and kitchenware. The store a wide range of products — everything from bluetooth speakers to men’s underwear. Most items are priced at under $5, but can range up to $30 for electronics.

MINISO Vancouver photos

MINISO Vancouver storefront
MINISO West Broadway storefront.
MINISO tea cups with lids
Tea cups with lids and leaf strainers.
MINISO glass water bottles
Colourful glass water bottles for $3.
MINISO makeup sponges
Cosmetics including makeup sponges and wipes.
MINISO mobile phone cases
Mobile phone cases.
MINISO cosmetics
Wide assortment of cosmetics.
MINISO baggage tags
Variety of baggage tags.
MINISO stuffed penguin
Stuffed animals.
MINISO baking shapes
Baking accessories.
MINISO spray facial steamer
Moisturizer spray facial steamer.
MINISO tea cups
Tea cups and saucers with Japanese characters.
MINISO Colourful markers and pens
Colourful markers and pens.

The branding and packaging is similar to Japanese retailers MUJI and UNIQLO, meaning there’s no brand or logo visible on most products. Most of the products are made in China, which is also where MINISO has the most stores. Because of this, the company and its products are sometimes criticized as “made in China to look Japanese.”

Competitors MUJI and UNIQLO are both slated to open at Metropolis at Metrotown this Fall, and MUJI will also open a large flagship store on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver later this year.

Popular Canadian retail website Retail Insider reported that MINISO plans to open 30 to 50 stores across Canada in the next year.

MINISO West Broadway (名創優品, メイソウ) location and store hours

  • Location: 1256 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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      • It’s a Chinese dollar store. Its headquarters are in China. Not Japan. Sorry, but it doesn’t matter if one of the co-founders is Japanese. Sergey Brin was born in Russia, but you wouldn’t say that Google is a Russian software company.

        Anyway, it doesn’t really bug me if it’s “Japanese” or “Japan-style”. Unlike others, I don’t really care so long as the quality is good. I’m not sure if it is… but just because it’s Chinese doesn’t mean much imo 🙂

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