Michiel Witteveen, the owner of the Dutch Blokker chain, has bought the Dutch franchising rights to the fast-growing Chinese discount chain Miniso. The goal is to have three stores next year, and fifty stores in the not too distant future.
In top locations
Next spring, Miniso will open stores in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Witteveen sees the potential for fifty Dutch stores, he tells Dutch financial newspaper FD. The investment will not come at the expense of other Mirage Retail Group formats (Big Bazar, Blokker and Intertoys): the entrepreneur is not intending to convert existing stores. Instead, he will target busy prime locations such as the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, or the Hoog Catharijne shopping centre in Utrecht.
According to Witteveen, Miniso has the same design as Japanese Muji, the prices of Action and the potential to "make Hema scared". The chain sells cheap design items with attractive margins. The Chinese player has an annual turnover of some 8.2 billion euros and has 4,800 stores in 86 countries. The ambitious retailer is opening 100 stores each month and is aiming for 10,000 stores by 2020.
Miniso is not the first notable investment Witteveen made: earlier this year, he acquired the Intertoys and Maxi Toys toy store chains from Portuguese investor Green Swan - both of which used to be part of the Blokker group. The rights to the Chinese retailer are financed through the entrepreneur’s own resources.