While in Chang Sha, China, I had to opportunity to take an evening stroll in one of their famous shopping streets: 太平街 Tai Ping Street. There were many stores that lined this small street and this was very reminiscent of my high-school days when I went for China study tours and visited shopping streets much like this one.
I came across a very brightly-lit store that first caught my attention and strongly reminded of what Uniqlo would look like. In fact the logo of the store felt similar to Uniqlo. With curiosity set, I head over to the store and check what they have to sell.
Going in, I find out that they have a lot of interesting items which make for very good gifts or even useful stuff which you can buy for yourself. Among the items would be bluetooth speakers, pillows, earphones, lotions, and even baby products.
What I found interesting with the products sold is that it felt all very minimalist. There were no fancy designs and these felt like items you could layout on a table for a hipster minimalist shot. Flat and solid colours dominated the items and like Muji they sell household items for organizing. The biggest differentiator from Muji? Price.
Although places like Daiso fit a very fixed pricing scheme but the affordability of these items makes it feel like this is a thrift store. Their prices are practical for what seems to be very good quality products.
Made in Japan
If there is any common ground for all the three brand names that I pointed out, they are all from Japan and so is Miniso! It must explain the whole feel and consistency of the products minus the expensive prices of Muji. Something like Muji would not survive in Cebu.
Finally, if you did notice I actually chose those three brands because they coincidentally can form the name Miniso: MujI-uNIqlo-daiSO. But frankly I would easily say as well that this is like a much more beautiful version of CD-R King. I wonder if CD-R King would be strong enough to become a mall someday?
Oh well, I just do hope Miniso will open their doors to Cebu although I’ve heard they’re open in other parts of the Philippines.