几乎所有的大梦想都源自一个小念头,而所有的零售巨擘,都由一间小杂货店成长起来。

—— 叶国富

Almost all big dreams extend from small ideas, and all the retail giants expand from small grocery stores.

—— Guofu Ye

大风起于青萍之末。

Big things have small beginnings.

在80年代湖北神农架山脉的一个小山村,7岁的叶国富家里盖了新房子,满心欢喜的父亲趁着过年在街上买了几幅挂历,挂历上是璀璨耀眼的北京、上海、纽约、伦敦和华盛顿……懵懂的叶国富还不知道这些“灯光灿烂,马路上全是小轿车”的大都市离他有多远,心向往之,“这么美好的城市,如果我能去看一看多好。”

In a small village in the Shennongjia Mountain Range in Hubei in the 1980s, the family of 7-year-old Guofu Ye built a new house. His father happily bought a few calendars on the street during the Chinese New Year. The calendar showed the dazzling views in Beijing, Shanghai, New York, London and Washington… Guofu Ye, at his innocent young age, had no idea how far these metropolitan cities “with dazzling lights and cars on the jammed streets” were from him. He longed for seeing it in real life, “If only I had a chance to visit these beautiful cities.”

时代不负,三十多年后,曾经憧憬繁华大都市的叶国富,在查尔斯河畔的哈佛商学院向艾问(iask-media.com)描述儿时的懵懂梦想,而就在前一天,他在哈佛商学院炉边谈话中以新零售新贵的身份阐释新零售的道与术,而他创立的名创优品也已走向了全世界。

The era didn’t let him down. Thirty years later, Guofu Ye, who used to yearn to visit the bustling metropolises, described his childhood dreams to iAsk (iask-media.com) at the Harvard Business School by the Charles River. On the day before, he shared his ways and approaches regarding the New Retail as an industry up-and-comer, and the company Miniso that he founded has also gone global.

2013年,叶国富与合伙人创办名创优品, 6年时间一路狂奔,触角遍及美国、加拿大、俄罗斯、新加坡、阿联酋、韩国、马来西亚等全球83个国家,中国店铺2300家店,海外店铺1300家店,2018年营收突破25亿美元。

In 2013, Guofu Ye and his partner co-founded Miniso, which has been scaling up rapidly in the past 6 years. It has expanded to 83 countries, including the United States, Canada, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Malaysia and so forth. There are 2,300 stores in China and 1300 overseas stores. The revenue in 2018 exceeded US$2.5 billion.

毫无疑问,叶国富掌舵下的名创优品以一骑绝尘的速度成长为跨国巨人,成为新零售的独角。

Undoubtedly, under Guofu Ye’s management, Miniso has developed into a multinational giant swiftly and become the industry leader of the New Retail.

选对了赛道?

Did he choose the right track?

名创优品为什么发展如此迅猛?叶国富的答案是,好的赛道,迎合了新的消费群体。

Why can Miniso develop so rapidly? Guofu Ye’s answer is that they chose a promising sector that catered to the new consumer group.

2013年,叶国富和他的合伙人在广州开起第一家店时,传统零售正遭遇着电商猛烈的冲击。电商对传统零售的洗牌还要追溯到更远,自2011年,店铺租金一路下滑,关店风潮一波接一波,线下零售进入冰河期,前有霸主淘宝、京东,后有新秀网易考拉、拼多多,不断有屠龙少年背起长剑冲进零售江湖,掀起一轮轮价格战、价值战,互联网企业环境通吃的天然优势,成功阻断线下线上流量,颠覆了议价和渠道能力,线下零售几乎毫无招架之力。

In 2013, when Guofu Ye and his partner opened their first store in Guangzhou, traditional retail was hit hard by e-commerce. The industry reshuffle of the traditional retail by e-commerce can be traced further back. Since 2011, store rents have been going downhill, with stores closing one after another. Offline retail has entered the ice age. Taobao and JD.com took the dominant market position as pioneers, followed by up-and-comers such as NetEase Kaola and Pinduoduo. Young dragon slayers with swords charged into the battlefield of retail one by one, setting off rounds of price wars and value wars. The inborn advantage of internet enterprises successfully blocked online and offline traffic and overturned bargaining and channeling capabilities. Offline retail could barely fight back.

有人一语点破,传统行业庞然大物的陨落,并非来自于与电商的贴身肉搏,而是被电商相互厮杀飞出来的炮弹碎片“杀死”的,其惨烈和落寞可见一斑,零售亦不能幸免,前路风雨飘渺。

Some people hit the mark with a single sentence that the fall of the traditional industry giants was not caused by the close combat with e-commerce, but “killed” by the bullet pieces from the battles between e-commerce businesses. The fierceness and isolation were evident. The retail industry couldn’t be spared. The journey ahead was unpredictable.

已经在零售行业摸打滚爬十几年的叶国富也没底,“中国的零售被电商打压得很厉害,我是出身于实体零售的,对实体零售没有信心。”不过,美国、日本、德国繁荣的零售市场,诸如美国的Costco、德国的ALDI、DM以及日本的优衣库,能够保持一如既往的增长势头,甚至在全球经济低迷时逆势增长,为叶国富打开了一扇窗,“别的国家为什么实体零售做的那么好,问题出在哪里?我认为问题出在商业模式和产品上。”

Guofu Ye, who had been in the retail industry for more than a decade, was not confident, either. “China’s retail industry was hit hard by e-commerce. I started in physical retail, but had no faith in it.” However, the retail market in the United States, Japan, and Germany has been prosperous. Retailers such as Costco in the US, ALDI and DM in Germany, and Uniqlo in Japan, have been able to maintain a constant growth momentum, even during the global economic downturn, which inspired Guofu Ye. “Why can physical retail prosper in other countries? what is the problem in China? I think the problem lies in business models and products.”

有了他山之石,叶国富拨开层层迷雾,归回商业本质,中国实体零售遭遇重创,根源在于人、货、场处于弱势,尤其是货,产品没有做到位,“没有满足当今中国新一代消费的崛起,就是80后、90后消费的崛起,他们需要一种什么样的产品,我们应该去做,围绕用户把产品做好,应该有一定的市场”。

With models from other countries, Guofu Ye cleared the mist and concentrated back on the commercial nature. China’s physical retail took a hard hit due to the root cause of weaknesses in consumers, products and locations. Products in particular were not on point. “They didn’t cater to the rising needs of the new generation of consumers in China, i.e. the post-80s and 90s. we should work on the products they desire for. As long as we build our products based on consumers’ needs, we should be able to secure some market shares.”

赛道选定为家居生活用品,冥冥之中,叶国富已经骑到了趋势的背上,三年即见分晓。

The sector of household supplies was selected. Imperceptibly, Guofu Ye rode the tide, waiting to witness the results in three years.

精彩对话:

Inspiring conversation:

艾诚:每一个伟大都有一个勇敢的开始,今天当名创优品在全球大刀阔斧布局的时候,你还记得当初是为何出发的吗?

Gloria Ai: Every great cause has a brave start. While Miniso extends its reach globally, do you remember your initial intention when you started?

叶国富:我从事零售业十几年了,一直在零售行业,特别是服务女性和小孩这个行业里面,我的体会还是很深的。

Guofu Ye: I have worked in the retail industry for over a decade. I have always been in the retail industry, especially in the sector of serving women and children. I do have in-depth insights on it.

艾诚:零售三要素无非是人、货、场,卖给谁、卖什么、在哪里卖,为什么你就如此钟爱这件事?

Gloria Ai: The three elements of retail are nothing but consumers, products, and locations, namely whom to see to, what to sell, and where to sell. Why do you love retail so much?

叶国富:零售是我的立家之本,过去10年,中国的零售被电商打压得很厉害,可以说很多人对零售,特别是对实体零售没有信心,我也没有信心。所以我就带着这个学习的心态,到美国、到日本、到德国这些发达的零售市场看一看,发现别的国家为什么实体零售做得那么好,问题出在哪里?我认为问题出在对方的商业模式和产品上,做得非常到位。他们有个共同特点,就是产品做的很到位,很符合当今消费者需求。第二,毛利很低。

Guofu Ye: Retail is the foundation of my career. In the past 10 years, China’s retail industry has been severely suppressed by e-commerce. It is commonly acknowledged that lots of people have no faith in retail, especially in physical retail. Me neither. Thus, with the eagerness to learn, I traveled to countries with developed retail markets, such as the United States, Japan, and Germany, to see how they managed to do so well in physical retail. What is the problem in China? I think the problem lies in the business models and products, which other countries do very well on. They share one thing in common, that is, their products are on point, catering to the needs of consumers nowadays. Secondly, their gross profit is pretty low.

新零售的本质是产品?

Does the core of the New Retail lie in products?

2016年10月12日,马云在云栖大会上提出新零售的概念,“纯电商时代很快会结束,未来的十年、二十年,没有电子商务这一说,只有新零售,也就是说线上线下和物流必须结合在一起,才能诞生真正的新零售。”以马云为代表的先知先觉者敏锐洞察到线上市场的水逆,线上红利逐渐枯竭,京东、淘宝一个新增用户的成本高达100元,互联网企业认为必须打通线上线下,到线下抢流量。一石激起千层浪,新零售的讨论甚嚣尘上。

On October 12, 2016, Jack Ma proposed the concept of the New Retail at the Computing Conference. “The era of pure e-commerce will end soon. In the next decade or twenty years, e-commerce won’t exist anymore. There will only be the New Retail, which means that online and offline sales and logistics must be combined to create a true New Retail.” Businessmen with acumen forecasts such as Jack Ma already observed the coming obstacles for the online market. The bonus of the online retail has been gradually drained. The CPGA (Cost per gross addition) at JD.com and Taobao.com has reached as high as RMB 100 yuan. Internet firms deem that they must channel online and offline markets and obtain traffic from the offline market. A tossed stone raised a thousand ripples. The discussion of the New Retail went viral.

叶国富旗帜鲜明的表态,新零售最核心的是产品,最难复制,以支付、大数据为代表的线上则是术,门槛低,容易复制,并非核心竞争力,成就不了企业。“今天我们看到中国做零售好的,用新技术的几乎没有,所谓的大数据抓取用户,谁都会,不在道上发力,学些歪门邪道的东西,成就不了你。”

Guofu Ye clearly stated that the core of the New Retail is the product, which is the most difficult to duplicate. The online features such as payment platform and big data are means of technology, which have low requirements and are duplicatable. Hence, it’s not a core competency that can boost a company’s success. “Nowadays, the retail industry leaders in China barely use any new technologies. Everyone is able to obtain customers with big data. However, if you don’t work on the core competency but taking shortcuts, you won’t be accomplished.”

就新零售的概念,叶国富多次在公开场合隔空直怼马云,“马云在阿里巴巴业务下降的时候,提出了新零售是线上+线下,是在帮自己拉业务。”叶国富认为,新零售并非简单的“线上+线下”,而是以产品为中心,利用互联网和人工智能等新技术,为客户提供高用户体验和高性价比的购物体验,并纵向整合从研发、设计、生产、物流到终端的价值链,创造更大价值,提升运营效率。

Regarding the concept of the New Retail, Guofu Ye has indirectly argued against Jack Ma in public several times. “When Alibaba’s business went downhill, Jack Ma proposed that the New Retail is online and offline combined, aiming at gaining traction for his business.” Guofu Ye believes that the New Retail is not simply “online + offline”. It centers around the product and utilizes new technologies such as the Internet and artificial intelligence to provide customers with a quality user experience and a cost-effective shopping experience. It also vertically integrates the value chain from research and development, design, production, logistics to the end user, creating greater value and improving operational efficiency.

“到了2016年,一个很重要的点就是要分上半场和下半场,什么叫上半场?上半场就是以渠道为王,下半场就是以产品为王。”叶国富简单而直接的盖棺定论。凡事皆有道和术,道即产品优质,而其他则是术,术非本源,但能为企业赋能。

“In 2016, it became vital to separate the first half and the second half. What is the first half? The first half is to focus on the channel, and the second half is to concentrate on the product.” Guofu Ye reached this simple and direct conclusion. Everything has a way and an approach; the way is the product quality, while the rest is the approach. The approach is not the core, but can assist the enterprise.

精彩对话:

Inspiring conversation:

艾诚:什么叫新零售呢?

Gloria Ai: What is the New Retail?

叶国富:我认为新零售是以产品驱动的零售叫新零售。马云对外公开数据主要是讲线上+线下,结合在一起叫新零售,叫全渠道,实际这种模式十几年前自从有了电商开始就有了。我们看到很多上市公司拿了很多钱做线上+线下,都很失败,比如说百丽,比如说大润发。

Guofu Ye: I think the New Retail is driven by products. Jack Ma publicly claimed that the combination of online and offline sales is the New Retail, i.e. Omni Channel Retailing. In fact, this pattern has been utilized since over a decade ago when e-commerce just sprung up. We have witnessed that many listed companies invested extensively in the online + offline mode, but they all failed, such as Belle and RT-Mart.

如果说渠道,站在马云角度上绝对好,让你们没开网店的抓紧时间到我淘宝、天猫开网店。我认为新零售一定是以产品驱动的零售叫新零售。过去我们靠什么?靠渠道驱动,但是今天如果产品没有竞争力,店开得越多,死得越快。

In terms of channels, Jack Ma definitely would be biasedly supportive, in order to prompt those who haven’t opened online stores to hurry and join Taobao or Tmall. I believe that the New Retail must be product-driven. What did we rely on in the past? Channels. However, nowadays without product competency, the more stores you open, the faster you will fail.

低毛利=成功了一半?

Low gross profit = Halfway successful?

创新与商业价值不能划等号,通透的,隔着一层窗户纸,一捅就破;冥顽不化的,隔着千山万水。

Innovation does not equal business value. Those who have clear strategies can easily make breakthroughs, while the stubborn ones would be blocked by countless obstacles.

对于叶国富,捅破这层窗户纸的就是性价比,“创新能领先一时,但拥有极高的性价比才能持续领先,企业要把创新优势转化为性价比优势,才能获得持续的竞争优势。”

To Guofu Ye, cost-effectiveness is the key to making breakthroughs. “Innovation can help you take the lead temporarily, but only with extremely strong cost-effectiveness can you maintain the lead. Companies must transform their innovation advantages into cost-effectiveness advantages in order to obtain sustainable competitive edge.”

名创优品在生活家居零售行业的红海中脱颖而出,甚至创造奇迹,叶国富归功于“对人性的克制”。全球所有优秀零售企业都是不赚快钱,永续经营的模式。只有坚持低毛利,才能保持高门槛,竞争对手才挤不进来。相信消费者是对的,学会在买卖的博弈中妥协,克制人性的贪婪——“花更多的成本用于提升产品品质,卖出更低价格”是零售成功的秘诀。

The reason why Miniso managed to stand out in the battlefield of the household goods retail industry and even created miracles was “the constraint on humanity”, according to Guofu Ye. All of the best retail firms in the world avoid making quick bucks and stick to the model of sustainable operation. Only by persisting in low gross profit can we maintain a high threshold and keep competitors off the market. Believe that consumers are right; learn to compromise in the game of buying and selling; and restrain the greed of human nature – “investing more in improving product quality and selling at lower prices” is the secret of retail success.

低价是爆款的引擎。名创优品主动放弃高利润,坚持净利润不超过8%的经营原则,通过以量制价、控制毛利等方式,将产品以让消费者尖叫的价格出售。“这个世界有两种生意谁都会干,一是把东西做得很好,价格卖很贵;二是把东西做得很差,价格卖很低。但是这个世界上恰恰最难干的是把品质做得很好,价格做得很低。很多人做不到,做到的都成为超级富豪了,像优衣库的老板柳井正、ZARA的老板奥特加。”

The low price is the trigger of bestsellers. Miniso voluntarily gives up on high profits and insists on the operating principle that the net profit does not exceed 8%. By controlling the price with product quantity and restraining gross profits, Miniso sells products at a price level that astonishes consumers. “There are two types of businesses in the world that anyone can manage. The first type is to make quality products and sell at high prices. The second type is to sell products with poor quality at low prices. Yet, the most difficult thing in the world is to make quality products and sell at low prices. The majority of people can’t make it. Those who can have become extremely wealthy, just like Uniqlo President Tadashi Yanai and Zara Founder Amancio Ortega.

价格虽低,必不敢减物力,就要在降低成本上下功夫。为此,名创优品拿掉了层层的代理商,也没有加盟商,名创优品的加盟商只是店铺的投资人,他们没有经营权,店长店员直接向总公司汇报工作。

Even though the price is low, materials still can’t be compromised on. Reducing costs is the way to go. As a result, Miniso doesn’t work with dealers or franchisers. The franchisees of Miniso are just store investors, who have no management power over the stores. The store managers and staff directly report to the headquarter.

叶国富始终坚持,高科技、互联网、数字化,不是雪中送炭,做零售最核心的就是商品,但也少不了锦上添花,由互联网思维延伸出来的扁平化管理是为名创优品加持、赋能,它提升了零售生意的效率。

Guofu Ye always insists on utilizing high technology, the Internet, and digitalization, instead of running the business as charity work. The core of retail is the product, but it also needs other highlights. The flat management extended from the Internet thinking aids and empowers Miniso in enhancing the efficiency of the retail business.

精彩对话:

Inspiring conversation:

艾诚:做零售做低成本、低利润,这也不是什么秘密了,你不担心竞争对手后来居上,也用低价、高性价比,去跟你PK吗?

Gloria Ai: It is not a secret anymore to operate the retail business at low costs and low profits. Don’t you worry about competitors catching up to you and competing with you with low prices and high cost-effectiveness as well?

叶国富:这个规则谁先用,谁就形成垄断优势了,谁后用就没效了。

Guofu Ye: Whoever uses this rule first will form advantages of monopoly. Those who duplicate the strategy later won’t achieve the same effect.

艾诚:无法效仿的原因在哪?

Gloria Ai: What is the reason for not being able to emulate?

叶国富:第一个,先发优势,先发优势代表着品牌优势,大家认可名创优品的价格,优质低价,这种极高性价比的商业模式。第二,名创优品通过先发优势,签订了所有头号的供应链,这些让名创优品变得更强大,门槛更高。通过先发优势、品牌优势和供应链的资源垄断优势,变得更强大,然后迅速把规模做大,像名创优品三年做了100亿,这个门槛已经很高了。

Guofu Ye: Firstly, the first-mover advantage, which represents the brand advantage. Consumers acknowledge the low prices of Miniso’s high-quality products, which is a highly cost-effective business model. Secondly, with the first-mover advantage, Miniso has already established partnerships with leaders along the supply chain, which strengthens Miniso and raises the competition threshold even higher. With the benefits of the first-mover advantage, brand advantage and monopoly advantage of supply chain resources, Miniso has become stronger and scaled up rapidly. Miniso’s revenue of RMB 10 billion yuan within three years is already an exceedingly high threshold.

如何让全世界都喜欢?

How to be favored by the whole world?

名创优品扩张的速度的确到了令人瞠目的地步,平均每月开店80-100家,足迹遍布83个国家和地区,2018年上半年海外市场销售额3.8亿美元。

The rate of the expansion of Miniso has been astounding, with an average of 80-100 new stores per month, presence in 83 countries and regions, and sales revenues in the overseas market in the first half of 2018 of USD$ 380 million.

叶国富认识到,扩张开店是零售企业的生存基因,“零售企业的发展,是靠开店扩张的,单店的辐射能力有限,辐射周边三公里范围。不断开拓新的市场增加自己的规模,这是全世界每个企业都做的。”

Guofu Ye realized that expanding and opening new stores is the survival cornerstone of retail enterprises. “The development of retail enterprises relies on the expansion of stores. The impact of a single store is limited to the neighborhoods within three kilometers of radius. Continuously expanding to new markets and scaling up is something that every enterprise in the world pursues.”

令人好奇的是,一个把店开到83个国家和地区的产品体验官,日程得有多疯狂。叶国富列出行程,今天是波士顿,明天就到纽约了,后天就到多伦多,然后是温哥华、加州……一天一个城市,是够疯狂的。

Intriguingly, how crazy would the schedule of the Chief Experience Officer who extended the reach of the stores to 83 countries and regions be. Guofu Ye shared his itinerary, which showed that he stayed in Boston that day, and then New York the day after, followed by Toronto, Vancouver and California… One city per day does sound crazy.

名创优品大刀阔斧进行海外扩张,在以色列、印度、尼日利亚等与中国市场在语言、文化、消费认知等有着很强异质性的国家,成绩斐然,令人刮目。2018年在以色列开的第一家店,开店两个小时就有20万人民币的销售额,叶国富形容当时的盛况“几乎像不要钱一样,很疯狂”。

Miniso has been extensively expanding overseas. Even in overseas countries, such as Israel, India, Nigeria, where the languages, cultures and consumer outlooks are strongly different from that in China, Miniso’s accomplishments have been remarkable and impressive. The first store in Israel in 2018 generated sales revenues of RMB 200,000 yuan within two hours of opening, Guofu Ye described that at the grand opening, “people went crazy as if everything was free.”

好的产品,全世界都喜欢,叶国富一语中的。

The whole world loves quality products, just as Guofu Ye predicted.

零售是重资产运营模式,在全球复制扩张,难度有多大?“这是我们轻车熟路的事情,一个一个复制,做零售最好的模式,开专卖店就像复印机,一个店成功了,直接按启动键,一个一个复制就行了。”

Retail entails an asset heavy operating model. How difficult is it to replicate and expand globally? “This is something we are familiar with. Replicating one after another is the best way for retail. Opening a franchised store is similar to using a copier, where after one store succeeds, you just press the start button of the copier and copy one by one.”

来哈佛参加论坛的间隙,叶国富一个上午一口气定了六家店,他的语气随意如逛街买了六件衣服,“哈佛大学外面门口最好的位置拿了个店,然后又看了五个购物中心,在五个中心里面选了五个店。”

During the breaks from participating in the forum at Harvard, Guofu Ye booked six retail spaces at once in the morning. He sounded so casual that it seemed like he just shopped for six pieces of clothes. “I booked a retail space at the best location outside of Harvard University, then I visited five shopping malls and picked five stores spaces from the five malls.”

在对话的最后,当问及名创优品在2022年的百千万计划,即百国、千亿、万店,“这是一个什么样的野心?”叶国富反问,“你认为这是野心吗?”在他看来,不是野心,不是空想,是水到渠成,瓜熟自然蒂落,恰如他憧憬10年后名创优品开到全球每个国家,有10万家店铺,而名创优品也成为一个有科技含量的全球化零售企业。

At the end of the interview, I asked about the “Hundred, Thousand, Ten Thousand” initiative by 2022, namely, reaching 100 countries, earning hundreds of billions, and opening tens of thousands of stores. “What kind of ambition is this?” Guofu Ye asked me in return, “You think this is ambitious?” In his opinion, it is not an ambition or fantasy; it is a matter of time for it to happen, just as how he envisions that Miniso will reach every country worldwide in a decade with 100,000 stores and will become a global retailer with strengths in technology.

一千个人眼中有一千个哈姆雷特,零售不断迭代,新零售应该以什么样的模式呈现,迄今没有终极的结论,也没有终极的成功案例佐证,叶国富以他偏执且硬核的方式定义新零售,以后的故事如何激荡尚且不知,但确定的是,他已在零售业留下浓墨重彩的一笔。

There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. The retail industry is constantly iterating. There is no ultimate conclusion so far regarding under which mode should the New Retail be presented, and there is no ultimate successful case yet. Guofu Ye defines the New Retail in his convinced and stern way. How the story will pan out in the future is still unknown, but it is certain that he has made his mark in the retail industry.