Daiso or The Daisō (ザ・ダイソー) is the largest franchise of 100-yen shops in Japan owned by Daiso Sangyo Corp. (株式会社大創産業 kabushiki gaisha daisō sangyō , headquarters: Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture). Daiso has a range of over 100,000 goods, of which over 40 percent are imported goods, many of them from China. Many of these are own-brand goods.
Daiso sets itself apart from other 100 yen shops by choosing not to sell closeout or factory second merchandise. Instead, they keep prices low by purchasing directly from manufacturers in very high volume, a strategy often compared to that of Walmart.
Daiso often uses such locations as previous pachinko parlours for its retail outlets. They spend a lot of money on shelving and fixtures to help the stores compete with more high-end retailers. The stock of items retailed at each shop is varied frequently in order to increase repeat customers.
Daiso categorizes all its own-brand items on sale using the morpheme za (ザ), the Japanese representation of the English word "the", plus a category. For example, za hanabi (ザ・花火) is the category for fireworks, and za purasuchikku (ザ・プラスチック) is the category for plastic items such as plastic buckets or trays.
In 2004, Daiso also started selling items priced at multiples of 100 yen, such as 200, 300, 400 or 500 yen.
Daiso has 2,500 stores in Japan, and 522 stores overseas, in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Canada, U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia, Romania, Australia, Brazil, United States of America and Mexico.
The first Daiso store opened up in Abbotsford, Victoria in 2010, selling thousands of items are a flat rate of $2.80. Since then it has expanded to 7 stores in New South Wales, 3 in Queensland, and 8 in Victoria. The stores range from 133mª to 1067mª (Melbourne Bourke St store), which is currently the largest in Australia. Stores in Melbourne are found in Highpoint Shopping Centre, Doncaster Shoppingtown, Richmond and Swanston Street CBD. The Chatswood Mandarin Centre, Merrylands, Sydney CBD/Haymarket, Blacktown Westpoint Shopping Centre and Parramatta Westfield Shopping Centre (opened July 4, 2013) are the locations for Sydney. All items are $2.80 Australian dollars.
In December 2003, Daiso opened a 2,400 square metre (26,430 square feet) store in Aberdeen Centre, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Most items sold in the store (Daiso products plus a small selection of Japanese foods and beverages) are CAD$2 each. "This store is to be our springboard to launch Daiso's operations across North America," said Roy Fujita, director of the company's international division.
There are thirteen Daiso stores in Malaysia. There are located in malls: AEON 1 Utama, AEON AU2 (Setiawangsa), AEON Bandaraya Melaka, AEON Bukit Tinggi, AEON Ipoh Station 18, AEON Mahkota Cheras, AEON Seri Manjung, AEON Taman Maluri, Bandar Putra Permai, Pavillion, Publika, Queensbay Mall and Rawang. All products are priced at MYR5.
There are ten Daiso stores in Singapore. The stores are located in following malls: Vivocity, IMM Mall, Plaza Singapura, ION Orchard, Tampines 1, Rivervale Mall, Bukit Panjang Plaza, Sembawang Shopping Centre, Chinatown Point and City Square Mall (latest opened on 19 February 2013). All products are priced at SGD$2.
On October 2, 2005, the first store in the United States opened for business in Alderwood Mall located in Lynnwood, Washington near Seattle, WA. This store is much smaller at only 442 square meters (approx. 4,750 square feet), and items were originally one of three prices, $1, $1.50, & $2 (all USD). The current inventory now includes packaged food and items are now priced up to $8, though most items are at the $1.50 price point. Daiso officials have said they plan to open as many as twenty stores or more in the United States.
There are fifteen stores in the United States: five are in Washington, and ten in California. The largest U.S. Daiso is located in Union City, California, which has 17,760 square foot (1,650 square meters) of floor space and opened on August 8, 2007. A total of 15 to 20 locations are planned for the entire San Francisco Bay Area in the future. Daiso has also opened stores in several other SF Bay Area cities: Daly City, Berkeley, Cupertino, Milpitas, Newark, San Jose, Mountain View, and San Francisco's Japantown and downtown. Daiso opened its first Southern California store in Monterey Park. In Gardena, Marukai Corporation U.S.A. carries Daiso products at bargain prices. Torrance also has a Daiso now. There are also five locations in the Greater Seattle Area, including the original Alderwood Mall store, Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, The Commons at Federal Way, Westlake Center and Chinatown in downtown Seattle.
There are over 860 Daiso stores (860 store opened last year) in Korea. Daiso was established in 1992 as the Daiso-Asung Corporation, working in cooperation with Japan Daiso in 2001. The chain has proliferated over the last 10 years by using a low cost-high quality strategy. Each store stocks over thirty thousand items, and most of the items are under one thousand won. Daiso also has an online shopping mall that allows people to purchase the same items at home.
- Reitman, Valerie. "Japanese Retailer Bucks a Trend by Selling Cheap." The Los Angeles Times, 8 January 2000. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Product category, Daiso Japan website. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Richmond News: Daiso sees Richmond as springboard to North America
- "Daiso Japan by AEON". AEON. Retrieved 3 Nov 2013.
- Daiso's arrival intrigues Daly City shoppers, Oakland Tribune
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daiso.|
- Official website (Japanese)
- Daiso's English home page
- Daiso's Canada home page
- Daiso's Middle East home page
- Daiso's Romania home page
- "Do you have a yen for low-price stuff?" By Lisa Chiu, The Seattle Times, November 9, 2005.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Daiso opens 1st US store