Home Lifestyle Exclusive | Yi Guofu, CEO and founder of Miniso Asian Group: “I myself choose 100 new products per week”

Exclusive | Yi Guofu, CEO and founder of Miniso Asian Group: “I myself choose 100 new products per week”

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Ye Guofu, a 40-year-old businessman who has been featured in China’s Forbes list, has an estimated net worth of more than $2 billion. Leads the first overseas Chinese network with more than 5,550 stores worldwide. An unprecedented encounter with someone who wants to make Miniso a global super brand, like Nike or Starbucks.

By Michael Megeris

What was your professional background before Miniso?

Yi Gofu : I was an entrepreneur, I wanted to create a lifestyle brand. I have seen a rise

China’s distribution sector, especially for young people, with better purchasing power. This is how I came up with the idea for Miniso.

You launched your brand in 2013. Since then, it has grown exponentially with more than 5,500 stores opened worldwide, most of them in recent years, and the products are popular with young people all over the world. How do you define Miniso vision?

YG: The main goal of the brand is to provide products to consumers all over the world with the best price and very good quality. The ambition is to create a superhero brand in

Global, i.e. a leading brand in its sector with a strong loyal customer base, such as Nike or Apple, to bring happiness and good mood to our customers. Our motto: “Life is for pleasure”, means that we want to bring the greatest joy to our customers through stimulating products. We focus and put a lot of effort into product development. For products at the same price as our competitors, we pay more attention to design, packaging and brand identity, especially licenses (Disney, Hello Kitty, Toy Story, Minions, etc.) We are very surprised to see that Miniso has grown so much and our customers are loyal to our products. We are the No. 1 retailer outside of China. We have already expanded to over 100 countries and currently have 5,550 stores around the world.


Miniso is located in France. Is this of particular importance?

YG: It is a prominent strategic market. To date, with the team of Ariel Wizman, Jonathan Siboni and Nicolas Rey, we have already opened 16 stores in France, and we have the ambition to develop further and continue to have stores everywhere to express the Miniso brand. We are a lifestyle brand and we want to be popular, fashionable and trendy. Kind of like a concept store. We want to offer the most popular and modern licenses on the French market.

What are your ambitions in Europe?

YG: We plan to work with European designers and artists and develop collections and are looking for a competitive supplier to work with in the future in Europe. We forge links with certain parts of the luxury industry, as well as with some French artists. We are seeing a movement to improve the quality of Made in China products thanks to the quality and strength of the supply chain. Even for brands like Apple, China is strategic. 80% of the products are made in China, and the supply chain has remained robust to provide the world with increasingly better products.

How important is the opening of the new Miniso store in Times Square?

YG: Entering the commercial space in Times Square means that we are taking a big step forward. This means that we have a strong competitive advantage. The price of a store in this area is very high, so if we can survive, that means we can open it

Stores all over the world.

You mainly develop stores while e-commerce is booming. How do you ?

YG: In stores, consumers can smell the products, which is not the case with e-commerce. The vast majority of our revenue comes from physical stores. In China, the contribution of e-commerce to our sales is only 10%. Once there are humans, there is commerce. Where there are men, there are exchanges, there selling by pieces. So retail will remain strong in the future because it is also an element of social life.

Yi Gufu: Steve Jobs is the one who inspires me the most. He made the Apple brand a super brand by focusing on its products. All entrepreneurs should learn from Apple’s ability and ingenuity

You have a lot of licenses for your products such as Marvel or Disney, how do you choose them? Do they have to share values ​​with Miniso?

YG: Yes. We have Marvel and Disney licenses as well as many other giant licenses in many countries. Since 2020, we have based our offer on a single concept: consumers buy not only products, but also what interests them. In our lives today, we live in relative abundance, as we lack nothing. So we see that consumers pay less for products than they do for what they love intimately. Working and collaborating with licenses is a core competitive advantage of the Miniso brand.

How do you design marketing?

YG: The product is the priority. If we have good products, they speak for themselves. Product is our key to marketing. Nowadays, with the age of mass media, anyone can have the same influence on a social network as a journalist. So everyone can talk about our products. We don’t do a lot of marketing, we mainly communicate about new store openings. We also have a strong social media community that promotes the brand, with some key opinion leaders.

Who are the entrepreneurs who inspired you?

YG: Steve Jobs is the one who inspires me the most. He made the Apple brand a super brand by focusing on its products. All entrepreneurs should learn from Apple’s ability and ingenuity.

What could be the lessons of the upheaval from Miniso’s success?

YG: Lesson 1: Products are most important to a brand. The brand CEO should also focus on products. For example, at Miniso, we have a strategy where every 7 days we select 100 new products to launch in our stores, selected from 10,000 samples of new products.

As CEO, do you directly select 100 new products each week?

YG: Yes, I personally pick them all each week. I am passionate about my brand!

What are the brand obligations?

YG: We are very committed to environmental issues and want to be a sustainable brand. For our products (not all of them yet but that’s the point) we use sustainable products. In this, we are following the Chinese government’s policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2060. Therefore we are taking measures to reduce the carbon consumption of our products.

What is your advice for the next generation of entrepreneurs?

YG: Simply to succeed, you have to go where you get the most interest, and undertake in the sectors that interest you the most, it’s “Active Passion”. When you have a passion in a field, you can succeed in that field, whatever it may be. Then, as the saying goes: no bread no profit As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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