Your first trip to Daiso will be an overwhelming experience, so be prepared. In true Japanese style it is colourful, sparkly and bright so it’s easy to get carried away as you gaze upon neat row after neat row of cat and bear-shaped products. Don’t fret, just make sure you set aside a good chunk of time before you head in to sort through it all.
A household name in Japan, Daiso – a “hyaku-en” (100 Yen) megastore – was founded in 1977 in Japan by Hirotake Yano. This year, Sydney welcomes its seventh Daiso store in the new Chippendale shopping complex, Central Park.
Daiso is not just another junk-ridden $2 shop, although they do have affordability and diversity of products in common.
The sheer scale of the Daiso operation is what keeps the prices low, and this is where Daiso differs from other bargain stores. Instead of buying products at a lower standard in order to drive prices down – as per most $2 shops, Daiso purchases more wholesale goods at once, at a lower cost per unit, and then distributes them to its stores worldwide.
The savings the company makes buying in bulk are then passed on to the consumer and the quality of the 100,000 products in the stores remains at a higher level.
Pick up useful knick-knacks for the office with a wide range of stationery and space-saving products that will get you organised. Stock your kitchen with a rabbit-shaped pancake pan or heart-print coffee cup. Or make yourself over with Daiso’s range of make-up and skincare products, some of which have won beauty awards in Japan.
For every archetypically cute “kawaii” product, there is a more tame, practical alternative, ensuring that everyone will find something appropriate to their taste and purpose, and yes, for just $2.80 a pop.
Daiso Japan, Central Park
Central Park Shopping Center
80 Broadway street, Chippendale
Monday to Saturday: 9am –8pm
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