Don Quijote (store)
Headquarters of Don Quijote in Meguro, Tokyo
|Public K.K. (TYO: 7532)|
|Founded||September 5, 1980 (Tokyo, Japan)|
Number of locations
|322 stores (April 2019)|
|Japan, Singapore, USA, Thailand, Hong Kong|
|Products||Clothing, food, jewelry, housewares, tools, sporting goods and electronics.|
|Revenue||¥487 billion / $5.74 billion (2010)|
|¥21.1 billion / $251 million (2010)|
|¥10.2 billion / $122 million (2010)|
|Total assets||¥302 billion / $3.6 billion (2010)|
|Total equity||¥106.8 billion / $1.3 billion (2010)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Pan Pacific International Holdings Corporation|
Don Quijote Co., Ltd. (株式会社ドン・キホーテ, Kabushiki gaisha Don Kihōte) is a discount chain store that has over 160 locations throughout Japan, 7 in Singapore, 2 in Bangkok, 5 in Hong Kong, and 3 in Hawaii. It carries a wide range of products, from basic groceries to electronics and clothing. The store is well known in Japan and is often referred to by its shortened name Donki (ドンキ). Distinctly, Don Quijote tends to keep very late hours for Japanese retailing (to 3 or 5am, or even 24 hours) and it packs its goods from ceiling to floor in a distinct merchandising strategy.
The company opened its first "Don Quijote" named store in Fuchu, Tokyo in March 1989. With the name change, the store also changed its primary business from wholesale to retail. It was not until 1995, six years later, that Just Co. followed suit and it changed its corporate name to Don Quijote Co., Ltd as well. In June 1998, the company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
As one of the few discount stores in Japan, the end of the Japanese economic bubble did not have disastrous effects for Don Quijote. Instead, the sudden economic uncertainty caused the Japanese public to become more thrifty and therefore helped to boost sales at its stores during the early 1990s.
In October 2007, Don Quijote purchased ailing Nagasakiya for 140 billion yen. This store and 3 other group companies went defunct in Oct 2017 as creditors have pulled the plug on their combined 432 billion yen of debts. Creditors continue to bankroll the rest of the group.
On June 28, 2017, PAQ, which operated Honolulu-based Times, Big Save and Shima, under the subsidiary QSI, Inc., announced that it had sold the 24 stores it owns in Hawaii to Honolulu-based Don Quijote (USA), using an executed stock purchase agreement with the sale closing in the 3rd quarter of 2017. The deal will combine Times with three Don Quijote stores and two Marukai stores on Oahu. In a statement from Edwin Sawai, president of Don Quijote (USA) Co., Ltd. and Marukai Hawaii Co. Ltd., he said that “The opportunity to welcome the Times Supermarket family of stores and their employees to our ohana is exciting for us,” and added that “We are confident that we will successfully work together, share ideas and learn from each other’s combined experiences to best serve Hawaii. For more than 68 years, Times Supermarket has been a local favorite and pillar of Hawaii’s retail community. We look forward to continuing their history and success in the islands.”
Don Quijote opened its first East Asian store outside of Japan at Orchard Central, Singapore, on December 1, 2017. These stores are branded "Don Don Donki", as the Don Quijote name is in use by a local restaurant. Don Quijote then opened a second store at the 100AM Mall in Tanjong Pagar on June 14, 2018. Don Quijote plans to have 5 stores in Singapore by the end of 2019 and 10 stores at the end of 2020. A third store was opened at City Square Mall in Singapore on January 11, 2019 with a fourth at Novena Square in May 2019. The fifth store in Singapore is located at Jewel Changi, under the Sweet Potato Factory concept. A store location was announced in June 2019 at Clarke Quay Central, increasing the total to six stores. Two more stores opened at Jem and JCube in November 2019 and January 2020 respectively.
In Hong Kong, Don Quijote has five outlets, one at Mira Place 2 in Tsim Sha Tsui, one at OP Mall in Tsuen Wan, one at Pearl City in Causeway Bay, one at 100QRC in Central and one at Monterey Place in Tseung Kwan O  These stores have also adopted the Don Don Donki branding. Don Quijote plans to open one more Hong Kong stores by early 2021. The store is expected to open at Siu Sai Wan.
Don Quijote is known for the distinctive song that plays in its stores. The song is called "Miracle Shopping" (ミラクルショッピング, Mirakurushoppingu) sung by Maimi Tanaka (田中マイミ, Tanaka Maimi), a Don Quijote store employee. "Miracle Shopping" was released as a maxi single in 1999. An English and Cantonese version has also been released, the English version also having a remake under the "Don Don Donki" name to accommodate for the rebranded outlets in Singapore.
In December 2004, four stores in the Kantō area were damaged or destroyed by arson attacks. Three store employees, Morio Oshima, 39, Mai Koishi, 20, and Maiko Sekiguchi, 19, died in the first arson incident. In 2007, Noriko Watanabe, 49, was found guilty of setting the fires and sentenced to life imprisonment. Don Quijote received harsh criticism at the time for poor store layout that made it difficult to find exits.
In 2005, Don Quijote began building a "half-pipe" roller coaster on the roof of its eight-story Roppongi store. Roppongi is a heavily populated area in the core of Tokyo, and many residents and businesses were upset with the idea of having a roller coaster in their neighborhood because of the spectacle, noise and crowds it would likely create. The project was completed in 2006 but due to increasing pressure from concerned groups in the area it was never operated. As of 2019, the structure has been removed.
Osaka stabbing incident
On January 4, 2020, a woman was arrested for attacking a Chinese tourist at a Don Quijote branch in Umeda, Osaka. Miki Matsuoka, 34, of Takamatsu, Kagawa, slashed and stabbed the tourist on a staircase in the store. While being questioned, she stated that she had "bought a kitchen knife to kill someone" and she did not like the attitude of the tourist.
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- "All 11 Marukai Stores to Be Sold". www.rafu.com.
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