Don Quijote (store)
|Type||Public K.K. (TYO: 7532)|
|Founded||September 5, 1980|
|Headquarters||Meguro, Tokyo, Japan|
Number of locations
|322 stores (April 2019)|
|Japan, Singapore, China (Hong Kong and Macau), Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the United States (California and Hawaii)|
|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|
|Subsidiaries||Don Quijote America|
Don Quijote Co., Ltd. (株式会社ドン・キホーテ, Kabushiki gaisha Don Kihōte), also known as Don Don Donki, is a Japanese discount chain store most commonly found in the Asia-Pacific region. As of 2021, it has over 160 locations throughout Japan, 13 in Singapore, 8 in Hong Kong, 3 in Hawaii and Malaysia, 5 (1 opening in 2022) in Bangkok, 2 in Taiwan, and 1 in Macau.
It carries a wide range of products, from basic groceries to electronics and clothing. The store is well known in Japan and Singapore 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.
Founded by Takao Yasuda, Don Quijote opened its first store in Suginami, Tokyo in September 1980 under its original name, Just Co. Originally a retail store, Just Co. quickly switched to wholesale in 1982.
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 leading discount stores in Japan, the end of the Japanese economic bubble didn't severely affect the company. 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 the ailing Nagasakiya chain 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 was 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 planned 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 Airport, 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.
A 10th store opened at NTUC Downtown East. In September 2021, Donki announced that it would open two more stores, one in Tampines and the other in the North-East Region. It added that it plans to open 20 to 30 stores in the long term.
Inspired by the success in Singapore, it also expanded to Hong Kong. Don Quijote has five outlets in the special administrative region, 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 that was first established in Singapore. Don Quijote opened one more store at the Island Resort Mall in Siu Sai Wan in February 2021, and at TMT Plaza in Tuen Mun in July 2021. The store in Amoy Plaza will be opening later in December 2021.
The first store in Thailand opened on February 22, 2019 in the Thonglor area of Bangkok. A second store opened on March 21, 2020 at The Market shopping mall in Ratchaprasong. A third store opened on October 1, 2021 in Seacon Square.
On 19 January 2021, the first Don Don Donki store in Taiwan was opened in the Ximending Shopping District, Taipei amid the coronavirus pandemic. The three-floor outlet is open 24 hours a day and is located in close proximity to Ximen metro station. It attracted more than 500 people who lined up in front of the outlet before its grand opening Tuesday.
On 20 January 2022, the second Don Don Donki store in Taiwan will be opened in the Zhongxiao Xinsheng business district of Taipei. The second store is an underground single-floor store with an area of 1,540 square meters. The store is located in close proximity to the Zhongxiao Xinsheng metro station. The Zhongxiao Xinsheng store will also open alongside four different kinds of booths selling Japanese foods; including MOCHI-MOCHI (selling freshly made Mochi), Inari Sushi Tamaya (selling Inari Sushi), Kondo (selling Japanese Wagyu beef skewers), and Color Food and Fitness (selling Daifuku made with seasonal Japanese fruits).
On 19 March 2021, the first Don Don Donki store in Malaysia was opened in Lot 10 of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. A second store was then opened on 9 December 2021 at Tropicana Gardens Mall in the Petaling Jaya district of Selangor and it is also the biggest outlet in Southeast Asia, spanning 42,243 sq ft across two levels of the mall. The third store is set to open on 20 January 2022 in Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport located at Bukit Bintang City Centre. The company also plans to open 11 new outlets by the year 2024.
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, Mirakuru Shoppingu) sung by Maimi Tanaka (田中マイミ, Tanaka Maimi), a Don Quijote store employee. "Miracle Shopping" was later released as a maxi single in 1999 by Grace Notes Records. 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 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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