Not long ago, Jack Ma alleged that the coming decade belongs to new retail. His allegation has triggered a wave of reform in the retail sector. Conventional retailers begin to find a new way out. It is expected that conventional retail mode will be broken up and new business retail modes have been discussed and explored. However, the road to successful business reform is tortuous and bumpy. Many enterprises find themselves trapped in difficult situations during their reform in spite of their efforts. Against this backdrop, some pioneers in new business retail including MUMUSO and MINISO rise suddenly and impressively on the market with overwhelm momentum.
Our journalist had the honor to interview Mr. Leslie Xia, CEO of MUMUSO, a new retailer that has developed a school of its own in terms of business mode. Mr. Xia gave us a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of the retail market reform from a strategic height :
Journalist: It seems the founder of MUMUSO is mysterious, being quite different from other high-profile businesses. Why?
Xia: MUMUSO has been adhering to the maxim of "Be low-profile and high-efficient" since its foundation. Therefore, the founding team seldom receives interview by foreign media. It is the founders' hope that the brand will be an artistic and enthusiastic one that grows with its consumers. The founders usually carry out large-scale procurements personally throughout the world and devote themselves to meet consumers’ quality requirements. It is our slogan that every consumer deserves a high-quality, comfortable, and tasteful life.
J: Many people confuse MUMUSO with MINISO. Can you tell us the most significant difference between the two?
Xia: MUMUSO is a global brand rooted in China. On the surface, MUMUSO and MINISO do share some similarities, for example, both have a plentiful choices of products at affordable price. But essentially MUMUSO has obvious difference with MINISO.
They are of different styles and advantages
MINISO has a Japanese decoration style of characteristic neutrality, which is quite fashionable nowadays, and orderly commodity display; in contrast, MUMUSO has a classical vintage style decoration featured by simple and elegant mint green tone which is natural and chic, and MUMUSO's commodity display is full of artistic flavor.
Fast expansion vs. Prudent investment
If we take a look at their global layout, we will see when MINISO is opening numerous franchise stores in China, MUMUSO is orderly but firmly making preparation and layout plans and by virtue of its keen market insight opening franchise stores in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Europe.
Designed in Japan vs. Global view
MINISO's commodities are mainly designed in Japan and supported by MINISO's global procurement strategy.
By comparison, MUMUSO has been developing a buyer system from the beginning, aiming to look for appropriate high-quality raw materials and original ideas worldwide by large-scale joint procurement for tailor-made design of safe, trustworthy, and affordable articles for daily use.
Good quality at affordable price vs. affective appeal
When it comes to business philosophy, MINISO as a famous brand in this trade mainly focuses on "good quality at affordable price" and, taking advantages of its consummate product design, optimal cost performance, and extraordinary shopping experience, becomes a "floor price breaker" MUMUSO, on the other hand, resorts to consumers’ affective appeal and, by selecting good materials worldwide, offers consumers with commodities of excellent cost performance, home depot like shopping experience. It is thus evident that MUMUSO is more prone to sentiment-based marketing.
J: MUMUSO's products are inexpensive indeed, I wonder how can you manage to make profits at such low prices?
Xia: What MUMUSO really relies on is excellent cost performance rather than merely low-price. Over time, many raw materials will be available from multiple sources and at low prices. However, if we stress excessively on low price, we will not get satisfactory commodities. So we just choose the best products from those available at the same price and surrender more profits to our customers. Honestly speaking, our products' unit profit is very low, but the large sales volume enables us to provide competitive cost-performance. This intensive value is the foundation of our new commercial retail mode.
J: How do you look upon conventional retail business mode and new retail business mode?
Xia: I don't think retail business modes can be labeled as old or new. Conceptual changes usually come from in-depth insight into industrial reform. All business modes, new or old, vicissitude like co-ops, department stores, wholesalers, shopping malls and supermarkets, and e-commerce companies do, reflecting the changes brought about by product innovation and customers' experience upgrade. A key to understand new retail is the fact that consumers of this business mode still insist on seeing the physical commodities with their own eyes. Maybe, in addition to the convenience of online shopping, what appease these consumers also include the affective experience during shopping.
In the future, all our commercial retail modes will focus on consumers' core needs and perception. Only those commercial retail stores opened in line with consumers' wisdom, affection, and share can survive.
The proposal of the concept of new retail has driven myriad retailers to explore a way out for the retail sector. However, most of such explorations are on the level of products. In contrast, MUMUSO pays attention to the change of the entire new retail industrial chain and the continuous improvement of consumer experience. Instead of monopolizing resources, we share them. In the future, MUMUSO will have a globalization vision featuring new retail for a shared future!