Alongside the glamour boutiques and dining in Harajuku is the "Daiso Harajuku" otherwise known as the 100 yen Shop. Take a look of it from Takeshita dori, Harajuku’s busy pedestrian mall, Daiso looks like a big pharmacy, full of cosmetics and toiletries.
But if you take a look around inside you’ll see that there are 3 more floors: a basement full of kitchenware, and a huge range of stationary, homewares and electrical accessories upstairs. Browsing through, it seems like a regular variety store, until you notice that everything is priced at just 105 yen.
Daiso is a 100 Yen store right in the heart of Takeshita dori in Harajuku, located only a few steps from Harajuku Station along Takeshita Dori. It is only one minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (Takeshita-guchi Exit). While Japan's largest 100 Yen shop, Daiso Giga Machida, spans 5 floors in front of Machida Station (30 minutes, 360 Yen from Shinjuku by Odakyu Railways). Daiso Harajuku is one of the largest 100 Yen stores in central Tokyo offering a wide array of goods on multiple floors at 105 Yen per item (105 yen incl. tax) - sometimes 99 yen.
The products amount here is around 90,000. It sells almost all original products developed by Daiso. Daiso provide the following living wares. - Stationeries - Foods and beverages - CD and Books - Interior goods - Cosmetics - Gardening utensil - Kitchen utensil - Plastic goods You can find a lot interesting goods for your daily necessities or souvenirs. Daiso Harajuku probably the biggest store of Daiso. Large stores in other cities include: Daiso Sapporo Chuo (South 2 West 2, Odori Station), Daiso Nagoya Sakae Skyle (Sakae Station), Daiso Osaka Nihonbashi (Nihonbashi Station), Daiso Kobe Promena (Promena Kobe, Kobe Station) and Daiso Fukuoka Kotsu Center (Fukuoka Kotsu Center, Hakata Station).
100 yen stores are enhancing their status in the retail industry to rank alongside department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores. Dozens or perhaps hundreds or even thousands of these often small (a few are multi-storey complexes with the look and stock of department stores) dot the landscape. Daiso, one of the bigger operators, runs more than two thousand stores across Japan. Japan's biggest 100 Yen, or “dollar” shop, Daiso Giga Machida, covers 5 floors of Machida Station. According to published sources, by “purchasing products in huge quantities and at big discounts from countries with low production and labor costs,” these commonly available, usually small shops bring a broad range of products to consumers. The 100 (or 99) yen shops are great for shopping for basics while you travel, or for rooting out all kinds of interesting knick-knacks to tote home as gifts.
Daiso is a major player in the 100 Yen chain store located all over Japan commonly known as "hyakkin". Daiso store is ranging in size from multi-storey "department stores" to small corners in shopping malls. Some are as large as 5 floors high. Imagine four floors of items from food to stationary, pet stuff, kitchen and bath goods, and even some clothes that are ALL 100 yen each. And it’s decent stuff. Daiso has expanded its product lines and number of stores on such a scale that it can no longer be categorized solely as a 100 yen stores. It is now so well established as part of everyday life that it has become the destination of choice for the purchase of daily commodities.
Daiso apparently can sell items cheap because they get things in bulk. They also have companies in China make a lot of the make up and other items that they then sell as Daiso products. Almost everything is for sale for the basic fee plus a small consumption tax, which means these are the dollar stores of Asia. Harajuku branch is a great introduction to the 100 yen shopping experience, it is not the biggest in Tokyo, but it is the most conveniently located of the big 100 yen stores, as it is in an area that visitors would most likely want to visit anyway. There was a news that Daiso recently went international with a store in Vancouver. In the year ended March 2005, Daiso sales exceeded 320 billion yen and our network of shops across Japan numbered over 2,400. The number of stores is growing at a rate of 20 to 30 stores a month and our overseas network is also increasing at a rapid pace. Daiso pursues an aggressive expansion policy.
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