There’s another newcomer to the high street in Manchester, and this one’s got some seriously cute items at low prices.
Miniso has taken over a 2,903 sq ft unit in the Manchester Arndale, joining the hugely popular Flying Tiger as new shops spring up across the shopping centre.
The Chinese brand specialises in family lifestyle and design-led products, selling everything from handbags to homeware to cuddly toys.
Its range also includes toys and gadgets, stationery, homeware, fitness and beauty, with a philosophy of ‘simplicity, nature and good quality’.
Miniso is another place shoppers can stock up on all your Christmas stocking fillers without having to cripple yourself financially, with adorable gifts priced from £1.
For just a quid, you can get superhero phone cases, greetings cards, and colouring sets – and even the most expensive products in store won’t cost you much more than £30.
Miniso sells gadgets like Bluetooth headphones, wireless speakers and electronic cleansing face brushes for way less than most other places.
There is an ENTIRE WALL of plushies – soft pale piglets, squishy Minions, cute plush penguins and even cuddly fried chicken.
You can also grab a ‘mystery box’ between £2.50 and £4.
In the accessories section, there are handbags scattered with pink love hearts, purses with whiskers and noses, as well as more simple backpacks and totes.
Water bottles, travel coffee mugs, makeup brushes and tools, yoga mats, gaming gadgets like keyboards and headphones (with cat ears on, naturally) – Miniso’s got it all.
Popular Japaneses snacks like Hello Panda (a biscuit with different flavoured fillings) and Yan Yan (biscuit sticks with different flavour dips) are all sold here too.
Saad Usman, COO at MINISO UK, said: “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our store at Manchester Arndale. We believe that the opening of this store, our first in the North West, is the perfect place for us to continue our expansion in the UK.
“At MINISO UK, we’re committed to getting the retail industry back on its feet, demonstrated not only by the investment into our fantastic new store, but also the creation of 10-15 new jobs in the local market.
“With innovative and exciting products that are high-quality and great value, we look forward to welcoming customers of all ages through our doors on opening day and beyond.”
Bubble CiTea is also opening in the Arndale, selling traditional Taiwanese bubble tea with flavours including Mango Fruit Tea with Rainbow Bubbles and Taro Milk Tea with Crystal Bubbles.
Colin Flinn, spokesperson for Manchester Arndale, said: “We are delighted that Bubble CiTea and MINISO have selected Manchester Arndale as their first locations in the city, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them alongside other recent arrivals such as Gilly Hicks, Clarks, and Jamaica Blue.
“It’s great to see the centre continually attracting both fantastic home-grown brands like Bubble CiTea and big-name international retailers such as MINISO.
“With such exciting leasing activity taking place it is clear retailers have confidence in the long-term future of the centre and its position as a leading retail destination.
“With Manchester Arndale now almost fully let, it will continue to attract millions of visitors from across the North West and beyond, with its dynamic and constantly improving line up of exciting retail, F&B and leisure offers.”
Evri voted UK’s worst parcel delivery company AGAIN in annual survey
Evri has once again been voted the worst parcel delivery firm in the UK, according to those who voted in an annual survey.
Less than two months after the company unfortunately found itself at the bottom of the 2022 parcel league table for the second year running, meaning it was the worst-performing parcel delivery firm in the country, Evri – which famously rebranded from Hermes in March 2022 after reports of parcel mishandling – has now been handed yet another blow by customers in an annual user survey.
The company performed the worst in MoneySavingExpert’s (MSE) annual poll, which asked users to rate their experience of each delivery firm they had used during the past 12 months.
MSE asked its users to rate each company as either ‘great’, ‘OK’ or ‘poor’.
More than 43,000 users took part in the annual survey, and they casted over 300,000 votes.
Out of the over 300,000 votes casted, Evri received more than 39,000 votes, with 62% rating it as ‘poor’, which is not only up from 48% in 2022, but also “significantly worse” than the other firms at the bottom of the poll, according to MSE.
39% of users rated Yodel as ‘poor’, while 22% rated UK Mail as ‘poor’.
On the other end of the spectrum meanwhile, Amazon Logistics secured the top spot on the poll for a second year in a row, while DPD remained in close second place for a third year, followed by sister company DPD Local.
Overall, five of the 17 firms were rated better this year compared to last year’s poll, according to MSE – with UPS and Fedex UK both rising three places.
However, Royal Mail performed significantly worse this year and dropped from fourth to eighth place.
“Evri’s repackaging from Hermes early on in 2022 has clearly not helped it to shake off its past reputation,” admitted Oli Townsend from MoneySavingExpert.com.
“In fact, scoring a poorer rating than the previous year.
“While some firms have really been delivering – quite literally – others have too often fallen short, and we’ve seen many reported issues of long delays, damaged items, or parcels just not turning up at all in recent months.
“So it’s more important than ever for consumers to know their rights and use them.”
Featured Image – Evri
Police issue warning to Trafford Centre shoppers after recent rise in vehicle thefts
After reports that more vehicles have been stolen from one of the UK’s largest shopping centres than ever before, with GMP saying it’s seeing a trend of offenders using signal jamming and scanning devices to steal vehicles, the police force has decided to launch a new operation called Operation Lexford.
In order to prevent crime and target those going to Trafford to steal specific types of vehicles, GMP worked in partnership with the Trafford Centre security team to set up the new operation.
Operation Lexford is aimed at “robustly tackling vehicle theft in Trafford”.
Since the creation of the operation on 10 January 2023, officers have made 11 arrests and recovered one vehicle – with GMP saying it is specifically seeing Range Rovers and Ford Fiesta cars targeted the most by theives.
“Cars are of great value to people and we understand that having a car stolen can have a huge impact both financially and emotionally,” admits Chief Inspector Shoheb Chowdhury of GMP’s Trafford District.
“As part of the operation, there will be an increased police presence at the Trafford Centre and we will also be holding weekly police surgeries with focus on providing people with tailored crime prevention advice.
“We will continue to work to bring offenders to justice, but I would ask that the public to help us to help them, by being vigilant when visiting the Trafford Centre.”
Addressing the recent rise in car theft, and the new operation set up to tackle the problem, a spokesperson from Trafford Centre said: “Our security and customer services teams take car theft very seriously and we are working closely with Greater Manchester Police on this issue.
“We minimise car theft on-site through the use of ANPR, CCTV and camera patrols so all vehicles entering and leaving the car parks are monitored and logged, and we also deploy high profile patrols in all car parks to deter thieves and run multiple police operations on-site to apprehend offenders.
“This data and footage is made available to GMP as required.”
Alongside its warning, GMP has also issued some tips for shoppers and highlighted a number of ways to minimise the threat of a vehicle being taken when it is parked:
Double check that your car is locked when leaving it, don’t just rely on the fob as signals can be blocked, preventing vehicles locking.
Invest in a faraday bag – they are lined with metal material and could help block the key’s signal.
Don’t leave any valuables on display in your car, even loose change can attract attention.
Invest in a tracking device – it won’t stop the vehicle being stolen, but it can significantly increase the chances of police locating and returning a vehicle to the rightful owner.
Fitting a steering wheel lock can reduce opportunities for theft, as they are a visual deterrent and can slow an offender down.
“As always, stay vigilant and if you notice anything unusual or suspicious, please report it to the police,” GMP said in a statement.