Asia-Australia focused chains AuMake and Miniso are partnering on a strategy to bring their customers together in new dual-branded Australian stores.
Announced on Thursday afternoon, AuMake said it has signed a distribution agreement with Miniso’s Australian Master Franchisee, and will begin selling its products from three of its highest-traffic stores: Chinatown, World Sqaure CBD and Burwood in Sydney.
According to AuMake, Miniso is already incredibly popular with the Australian Asian community – a key demographic for AuMake – and that by partnering together, AuMake will be able to offer an expanded product range including skincare and cosmetic brands.
“We look forward to working alongside Miniso, who have a track record of delivering trend leading products to value and quality-conscious consumers worldwide,” said AuMake managing director Joshua Zhou.
“Their extensive global retail store network and proven experience in catering to the Asian market makes them a natural choice for AuMake to provide more choice for our Australian customers and the reopening of international borders.”
The deal will also help get Miniso back on its feet in Australia, after falling into voluntary administration last year due to the lack of international visitors, being saved by a creditor vote. At the time, Miniso made deals with landlords such as Scentre Group and Vicinity Centres to achieve better leases, and closed two unprofitable stores and its head offices in Sydney and Melbourne – being run remotely from China until conditions improve.
The business said it planned to open 15 new stores by the end of 2021, though it isn’t clear if these co-branded stores will figure into that number.
AuMake, too, has faced some hardship from the fallout of the closing of international borders: Having worked to transform its business model to a social daigou marketplace model to sell Australian and New Zealand made goods to shoppers in China. For the past two years, transformation costs have blown out any profit made – though, according to AuMake, these costs are now complete.
It recently raised $2.2 million aimed at powering its post-transformation strategy, such as marketing its new online platform and the “formation of domestic and international partnerships”.