What is Daiso

Daiso is a brand that many SAS students and faculties know since it sells many cheap products. It is not only popular in our school but also countrywide as it is where you can get various different types of items at an affordable price. From snacks to stationeries, and even toiletries. The word “Daiso” is so common yet so many of us don’t know anything else about it besides the fact that it’s cheap. Here are some facts about Daiso that might interest you.

1. What is Daiso?

Daiso in Japan (source)

Daiso has a range of over 100,000 products, many of which are own-brand goods. Not only that, even if it originated from Japan, over 40 percent of these goods are imported goods, many of them which are actually from China. Furthermore, it has locations in 25 countries and regions worldwide; It has 2,800 stores in Japan, 975 in South Korea and 522 stores overseas in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam. 

2. How Daiso first started

Yan Shoten in Japan (image source)

When Daiso was first established in Japan by the founder, Hirotake Yano during 1972, the store was called Yano Shoten and it was a street vending shop which mostly sold household items for 100 yen, aka $1.25 SGD. Daiso also often used locations such as previous pachinko outlets for its retail outlets. It was not until December 1977 in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan when the Daiso we recognise today was first discovered. Ten years later, Taiwan opened its first Daiso in August 2001 and just a month later in September, Korea opened its first Daiso and from thereon till today, new stores are opened every year worldwide. The only year in which Daiso did not open a store in a new location overseas was in 2013.

3. Different countries sells it for different prices

Items you can get at Daiso! (image source)

In Singapore, as we already know, Diaso charges S$2 for every item you get, regardless of what it is. Due to this fact, we might have accepted the myth that it’s the same price no matter which country we visit Daiso in. If that’s the case, you have thought wrong. In most countries, they would have a certain base cost but prices still varies as to which type of items you would like to purchase. In the original country, Japan, Daiso usually sells their items for about a 100 yen ($1.21) while in the U.S., the base cost is about USD$1.50 (S$2.09) and in Korea, it is about KRW1,000 (S$1.25).

4. Daiso in Korea

Daiso in Korea (image source)

Many of us know Japan as the origin of Daiso. But in Korea, it was established in 1992 as the Daiso-Asung Corporation and worked in cooperation with Daiso Japan from 2001-2011, as it started running independently since then. An example to show this is that Daiso Korea stopped selling the products that Daiso Japan had. Not only that, it is also confirmed that they were acting as a different company. In addition, Daiso Korea have a different unique logo compared to the rest of the Daiso Corporation. It is said that this is to allow them to rebrand into a more modern company and to display its break-off from Daiso Japan. Daiso Korea owns 1,150 stores in which each stocks over 30,000 items. Not only that, it also provides customers with an online shopping mall that allows them to purchase the same items while sitting at home, making it more convenient. “While we use the same brand, we don’t pay royalties. Our brand identities are different, and since the early stages of our business, trademark rights have been applied for and registered under the name of Asung Daiso,” a Daiso official stated.

5. Canada hosts one Daiso store, renamed to ‘OOMOMO’ in 2019

Daiso Canada (source)

Countries that have at least one daiso store usually have more spread throughout the nation. Such as in Singapore, there is about 15 stores while Cambodia owns 3. Daiso Canada is the only Daiso store available in Canada, being a two-story store over 25,000 square ft at Aberdeen centre. After operating as Daiso Canada for 16 years, in August 16, 2019, just recently, Daiso Canada website announced it has ceased operating as Daiso and rebranded as OOMOMO. It is stated that the introduction of OOMOMO will bring more distinct Japanese branded products and will also strive to create a “more colourful and beautiful living experience”. They now sell Japanese daily living necessity goods mostly found in popular retail chains in Japan.

6. Daiso’s warehouse

Daiso in Singapore (source)

Daiso is way bigger than you think, being able to fit Tokyo Dome about 16 times! It has about eight regional distribution centres including the largest in Japan, with another sixteen that also partly serve as factories overseas. They have fully automated cranes which knows how to pick the correct items up without any help. These products are then sorted by a Box Sorter that goes at a speed of 4.8km/hr; It even knows how to sort the inventory of about 150- 200 stores simultaneously. This is the process that is done entirely automatically for each delivery route .

7. The products sold

Daiso batteries (source)

As we all know, Daiso is a branch popular amongst many people from all of the different age group, but most of us probably didn’t know that some products can be so popular that 5 of each is sold for every second. In Japan, the most sold item is batteries, with about 147,500,000 batteries sold every year! It is something we need in our daily life but would have never guessed to be the most popular product out of the 100,000 many. Not only that, one fake eyelash pack is sold every 1.3 seconds, one sweet roasted chestnut is sold every 10 seconds, and one necktie is sold every 15 seconds.

8. The customers

Daiso in NYC (source)

Each year, over one billion people shop in Daiso stores worldwide. That is equivalent to 2.3 million people per day. So don’t “discount” the prevalence of this emerging brand in the world; Daiso is perched to become as common as your corner 7-11.

Author: Hyun Ju

Hyun Ju Lee is currently a senior and this is her second year being part of The Eye. She is a Korean that was born in Boston, but raised in Singapore since she was two years old. She can be contacted at lee46856@sas.edu.sg.

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