Programs in Action: Miniso Opens to Large Crowds in Yellowknife

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Blog Entries

June 14, 2019

Amy and Jake had a plan as they reached the end of a 15-year stay in Jamaica. They’d recently visited  family in Yellowknife and decided the city was where they wanted to settle. 

The family started in their native China, moving to Jamaica for a change of pace. They loved it, but with a a growing family, they decided it was time for another move. It was important to the family of four that their two sons have access to better education and health services. So last year, they packed their bags and headed north to make a new home in the Northwest Territories.

Mr. & Mrs. Gong with Alexandra Malakoe, ITI’s manager of Trade and Business Immigration


But the bags weren’t all they brought on the long trek from the Caribbean.

Amy Gong and her husband brought a vision for a new type of store for Canada’s north – one on the cutting edge of modern retail. They wanted to bring Miniso – a Chinese-Japanese discount retail brand making waves in big cities like Vancouver and Toronto -- to Yellowknife.

They laid these plans on the table when applying for  residency through the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP).. 

While Miniso is fairly new in Canada, it’s a multi-billion dollar juggernaut oversees. The Gongs felt there was room for the brand to make waves in both the local marketplace, and the growing population of tourists flocking to the city’s unbeatable Aurora.

“There is so much room in the market for someone wanting to come in and open a new business” she exclaimed.

Amy describes the store as having a dollar store vibe with great items that are always changing so customers never get bored. 

Miniso opened in Yellowknife on the 4th of April to large crowds of shoppers excited to get a piece of that vibe. 

A cake and ribbon cutting ceremony took place shortly after 10 am and the story remained busy for the remainder of the day.  The business is seeing continued success among locals and visitors alike --anticipating further success when Aurora season peaks.

The family applied for the NTNP online -- describing their experience as straight forward and full of staff willing to help them out with any questions they had.   

As the business continues to thrive, the Gongs are also enjoying watching her sons experiences a new school, make new friends, and set themselves up for future success here in Canada. 

People who want to immigrate to the Northwest Territories to start their own business or invest in and operate an established company may apply to the business streams of the Northwest Territories Nominee Program.

This programming is done to support the territory’s desire for diversity while encouraging economic development.

Visit for more information.