B.C. court grants Miniso Canada creditor protection

Chinese discount retailer had been planning to have 500 Canadian stores by 2021

Miniso Canada's vice-president of development, Yi Ma, told Business in Vancouver in 2017 that he planned to rapidly expand his company | Rob Kruyt

The Canadian arm of Chinese discount retailer Miniso has secured creditor protection through an order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Various entities known together as Miniso Group filed for the creditor protection for Miniso Canada. The news was not a surprise given that in December the various parent companies claimed that its Canadian division had been fraudulent in its business dealings by transferring and hiding assets.

Miniso International Hong Kong Ltd. and Miniso International (Guangzhou) Co. Ltd. claimed in a December 12 court document obtained by Business in Vancouver that they were owed more than $20 million in debt, and they retained law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP to proceed with the application for bankruptcy. 

Miniso Canada operates 67 stores in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories and Miniso Canada intends to keep those stores open. The company had been projecting that it would have 500 stores open by 2021.

The B.C. Supreme Court's order allows Miniso Canada to get up to $2 million in financing from Miniso Group, and the the two entities are expected to work together to restructure Canadian operations.

BIV spoke with Miniso’s vice-president of development, Yi Ma, in August 2017, when he said that he expected Metro Vancouver to have 15 Miniso stores by August 2018.

Miniso’s first Canadian store opened at 1256 West Broadway in spring 2017. Its next stores opened in the Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall, and at 550 Granville Street.