MAMUN M. ADIL: How did Mumuso come to Pakistan?
SEHRISH SHAHID: Mumuso Pakistan was brought to Pakistan by our three directors: Osama Imran, Omer Jawaid and Salman Mubeen after they approached Mumuso Korea. Mumuso is a Korean brand registered in 2014. In this short span of time, the brand has established itself in approximately 55 countries and their products are manufactured in several countries including China, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
MMA: Mumuso Pakistan has established four outlets so far; where are they located?
SS: Our first outlet opened on January 19, 2020 in Islamabad’s F-10 Markaz, and the second within Springs Mart in Karachi. We have recently opened two more stores in Karachi; one at Lucky One Mall and more recently in Dolmen Mall (within Debenhams). All our products are available in each outlet. So far, we have one sub-franchised store (located in Lucky One); the others are owned by us. Anyone who wants to open a Mumuso store in Pakistan must go through Mumuso Pakistan, which is the master franchise. In the future we see ourselves expanding by establishing our own stores as well as franchising them. We have three more stores in the pipeline which we hope to open by December and we would like to have a presence in Lahore as soon as possible.
MMA: Aren’t urban centres saturated in terms of creating a customer base?
SS: No, because our products stand out. We eventually want to be everywhere in Pakistan as our brand is not too premium for any city.
MMA: What sort of products does Mumuso Pakistan offer?
SS: We have a huge range, which covers approximately 10 categories, with three to four thousands SKUs spread out across these categories. They include Health & Beauty, Home & Living (basically everything you can possibly think of at home) and Kids. Other categories include Clothes, Electronics, Gym Accessories, Shoes and Stationery.
MMA: Which categories are the most popular?
SS: We have several high earning categories, one of which is skincare, which comes under the Health & Beauty category; we have purely Korean made skin care products, which are all the rage these days. We have information booths in place to tell our customers about the benefits of our products. Other than that, shoes sell really well.
MMA: How would you describe your target audience?
SS: Our target audience is spread across all socio-economic classes, because we have something for everyone as our price points range between Rs 250 and 10,000. However, the majority of our products are purchased by women and children. Pakistani consumers are more aware than ever before and that works to our advantage because they are also aware of the quality of our products.
MMA: How does Mumuso differentiate from their competitors?
SS: Consumers do make comparisons to other brands but they come back because of our quality. For example, we are compared to brands like Miniso – perhaps because of the similarity in our product range – but we believe that every time someone comes to our store, they see how different our product range is in terms of quality and therefore the comparison does not really stand when they look closely. Miniso has a relatively lower price point, but our edge is quality and if anyone buys a product from us once, they will not have to return it. We also stand out because we are a one stop shop for everyone; our mantra (and tagline) is: “This is your happy place”, so anyone who walks into our store will find something even if they don’t need it; everyone who leaves our store, leaves happy.
MMA: How have consumer purchasing habits changed since the lockdown?
SS: Initially, when we started in January, first-time buyers were trying out everything, especially those products that were not available anywhere else, such as our skincare products, beauty tools and toys. When Covid-19 hit, we had to close our stores and even though we already had a website, we really focused on e-commerce during the lockdown. One of our highest selling items, other than sanitizers and masks, were eyebrow razors for women and we literally ran out of them; baking tools were also very popular. We received orders from cities we hadn’t even heard of. Recently, we have made our products available on other online platforms including Daraz.
MMA: How do you promote Mumuso Pakistan?
SS: We engage in digital, radio and influencer marketing – we have used influencers such Shaniera Akram, Rebellion Brownie, Khadija and the Malik Gang, who are relevant to the brand and to whom the audience can relate to. We choose them according to the audience we want to target.
MMA: What would you say are the major challenges for retail brands such as Mumuso in light of Covid-19?
SS: As shopping is no longer considered a recreational activity for many people, the challenge is to bring customers into our stores. Once they walk in, they will leave with something.