Daiso of Japan: The Dollar Store

By Jin Whang, Kenya Yamamoto
2016 | Case No. GS90 | Length 11 pgs.

Daiso Industries Co., Ltd. was the largest 100-yen (or one dollar) shop operator in Japan, with nearly 2,900 stores in Japan and 1,400 stores in 26 other countries.  The privately owned company featured nearly 50,000 products, ranging from office supplies to cosmetics and seasonal holiday decorations—most items (98 percent) were priced at 100 yen, with some exceptions.  Some 99 percent of Daiso’s products were privately branded, but only a small fraction were internally manufactured.  As of January 2016, Daiso operated 2,900 stores in Japan and 1,400 stores in 26 other countries.

To transform from a truck-based pop-up operation into an extensive global chain of stores that generated $3.5 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending March 2016, Daiso made three major strategic decisions.  The case study takes students through these decisions, and includes an in-depth look at the point-of-sale (POS) technology that helped Daiso create a highly efficient delivery and restocking system, as well as streamline the treasure hunt or discovery retail model—a store where people shopped for the sheer fun of discovering surprise items.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to illustrate how Daiso transformed into one of Japan’s major consumer chains by focusing on high-quality items priced at 100 yen (around $1). Students learn how the company harnessed POS technology to streamline its delivery system and keep shelves fresh and interesting.
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