Lifestyle retailer Miniso plans 'at least three more stores'

Leona McNicholl (centre), senior relationship manager in Ulster Bank’s commercial banking team, pictured with franchisees Trevor Finlay (left) and Stuart Dixon (right) at the opening of the new Miniso store in Ballymena's Tower Centre
Gary McDonald Business Editor

GLOBAL lifestyle retailer Miniso has confirmed it will open 'at least three more stores' in Northern Ireland by 2025 as part of a major expansion plan supported by Ulster Bank.

It comes as it launched a second store in the north Ballymena’s Tower Centre earlier this month following a six-figure investment which created 15 jobs.

And local franchise owners Stuart Dixon and Trevor Finlay - who also operate 10 CeX stores across the region - say they intend to press forward with plans to expand the Miniso network with three more stores which will bring 45 more new jobs.

Chinese low-cost retailer Miniso offers a range of toys, tech, stationery, accessories, homeware, food and cosmetics at affordable prices, and enjoys exclusive partnerships with brands such as Disney, Sanrio and We Bare Bears.

Stuart and Trevor - who in May opened Northern Ireland's first Miniso in Belfast’s CastleCourt shopping centre - said they believe the brand can help to revitalise the local retail space.

They said: “Miniso is a retail destination that strikes the right balance between offering the affordability and product range people want with a memorable consumer experience to drive return custom and footfall.

“The team at Ulster Bank have been really supportive of our vision.”

“The response to the opening of our Belfast branch was one of resounding success, has paved the way for the opening of Ballymena store, and also given us the confidence to press forward with expansion plans.”

Leona McNicholl, senior relationship manager in Ulster Bank’s commercial banking team, said: “Stuart and Trevor have intimate knowledge of the retail sector and really understand the needs of the high street and shopping centre retailing.

“The launch of Miniso is testament to their foresight and drive in that the pair have identified a high-growth, fast-paced concept that is strongly suited to the market.”

Stuart added: “When we first encountered the Miniso brand on a site visit to London we knew Northern Ireland needed this, and the opening of our Ballymena store just four months after first introducing the brand to the market demonstrates the appetite among consumers for something fresh.

“We’re fully committed to opening three more stores by 2025, but we see great growth potential beyond that too.”