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14.09.2017

A week after opening, Miniso in Ambience Mall is packed in like a can of sardines, the chaos punctuated with cautionary announcements imploring shoppers to keep an eye on their kids and personal belongings. We can’t decide what we need more: our sunglasses to shield against all that colour, or our aunty-specs to help decipher what the products actually are. For instance, we spend five minutes trying to figure if the small, gem-hued bottles at the front of the store are baby milk bottles – turns out they are temperature-resistant, break-proof, and meant for people of any age.
 
Full Bottle Ahead

Still reeling from the image of drinking out of a baby bottle in public, we stumble around the shelves, trying to get the lay of the land. We spot everything from wire cutters to socks to kitchen towels, affordably priced and cutely designed. Pay special attention to a pair of swimming goggles, perfect for an evening at Delhi Gym, and a whole section of cosmetic and make-up organisers, stationery trays, pencil boxes, sock organisers, pill boxes, sewing kit boxes, and pouches in enough sizes to make Ms. Kondo clap with delight.

We can’t help but scoop up a set of bowties for women, and a back-scratcher that we will forever deny owning. 

We find a small stationery aisle (think a tiny version of UK’s Paperchase), offering regrettably childish stickers, DIY kits for vintage greeting cards, oil pastels, adult colouring books, lap-sized whiteboards and of course, boxes and bags to keep them all in. Home items include whale-printed towels, polka dot oven mitts, bafflingly tall glass tumblers, and a whole display devoted to Japanese green and white lattice aprons that appear to be flying off the shelves. There are also extremely useful (and sleek) everyday items like knives and bento lunch boxes. Did we mention cat paw ice trays? The clothes and shoes are limited to comfortable slippers, socks, basic cotton t-shirts and inner-wear.

 
Massage In A Bottle

We can’t help but scoop up a set of bowties for women, and a back-scratcher that we will forever deny owning. Don’t even attempt to de-code the massagers (you’ll need a staffer to explain the rod that ends in a rubber ball), and skip entirely a hair accessory section stocked with Donald Duck caps and bedazzled hair-bands, thronged with screaming children and their harassed parents, each of whom is plotting a hasty exit.
 
We doubt there’s a way to visit Miniso without wanting to leave right away. But resisting the impulse will yield many gifts, including a Rs 150 Moomin themed sleep mask and a set of 50 food preservation bags, both useful for the dark room that you’ll lock yourself into once you’re done shopping here.
 
Getting there: Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, first floor, Rs 290 for water resistant gold sloppers with powder blue sole.
 
This story was contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a writer based in New Delhi. 

 

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