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MINISO's $2 Plus Stores Are Open In Canada & Here's What They Do Better Than Dollarama

Here's where you should be spending your money.👇

Trending Staff Writer
​A MINISO store. Right: Products at a MINISO store.

A MINISO store. Right: Products at a MINISO store.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

If you're looking for great deals, you may want to hit up MINISO's new discount stores in Canada.

In October, MINISO debuted a new concept for its low-cost stores in Canada, which sees the retailer offering tons of high-quality goods at cheap prices.

The "$2 plus" concept, which sees prices starting at $2 and capped around $10, takes inspiration from dollar stores but offers "more diverse and higher quality goods than traditional low-cost retailers," the brand said in an October press release.

But how do MINISO's offerings stack up against popular dollar stores like Dollarama? I visited my local $2 plus MINISO to see how the retailer compares to other low-cost stores and what their product selection is actually like.

MINISO products vs. Dollarama

If Dollarama is the discount store where you can get a deal on brand-name products and low-cost alternatives, MINISO is where you can find cheap specialty items that have just a little something extra.

While both retailers offer items like beauty products and tools, tupperware and dishware, housewares, storage solutions and stationary, MINISO's products feature cute characters, bright colours and patterns, and licensed collections with companies like Marvel, Hello Kitty, and Mickey and Friends.

Unlike Dollarama, MINISO also offers a wide array of super soft, high-quality plushies, with many priced under $10.

You'll also find a large assortment of snacks and beverages (mostly from Japanese brands) that you'd likely have a hard time finding elsewhere.

In contrast, Dollarama is where you'll find more run-of-the-mill snacks from major brands like Nestle and Frito-Lays.

\u200bMINISO snacks and beverages.

MINISO snacks and beverages.

Katherine Caspersz | Narcity

MINISO price vs. Dollarama

\u200bCups at MINISO.

Cups at MINISO.

Katherine Caspersz | Narcity

While many things at MINISO are priced between $2 and $10, there are some exceptions that are priced above $10.

As for what you can get for under $10, the brand offers low-cost beauty tools like brushes ($2.99) and nail polish (3.99), as well as workout gear like resistance bands ($6.99) and yoga mats ($9.99).

You can also find electronics like headphones ($8.99), tupperware ($4.99) and kitchen utensils ($4.99), and even underwear for just $1.99.

In comparison, you'll likely be able to find many (if not all) of the same kinds of items at Dollarama for up to $5.

Is MINISO or Dollarama better?

While the retailers offer many of the same kinds of products, which one you should shop at depends on what you're looking for.

If you're looking to buy essentials and don't want any frills, Dollarama's under-$5 prices are probably your best bet.

However, if you're looking for gifts, specialty items, Japanese goods or snacks and licensed merchandise, MINISO offers tons of low-cost items that are high-quality and a little bit more unique.

MINISO's offerings are also just a great way to make everyday purchases feel more special without having to pay an arm and leg to do so.

If you're looking for ways to "make life easy" while adding a little bit of fun to your day, MINISO is the place to go.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Katherine Caspersz
    Trending Staff Writer
    Katherine Caspersz is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.
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