24-hour Japanese discount store ‘Don Don Donki’ to open at Orchard Central

Elizabeth Tong
Entertainment Reporter
The storefront of Don Don Donki at Orchard Central. (Photo: Elizabeth Tong/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Japan’s popular discount store Don Don Donki will be opening its first Southeast Asian outlet at Orchard Central on Friday (1 December) from 10am. A second outlet is due in June 2018 at the 100 AM mall in Tanjong Pagar.

The two-storey megastore, located on Basement 1 and 2 of the mall, will operate 24 hours a day, from Monday to Sunday. It will also have a “night market” concept featuring eight dining outlets in partnership with food manufacturer Hokkaido Marche.

This section, however, will launch in January 2018 and will operate during lunch and dinner hours. The exact opening hours for Hokkaido Marche will be confirmed nearer to the opening date.

Shoppers can expect a wide variety of goods including fresh foods, processed foods, everyday household items, cosmetics and novelty goods. Some of the items are the priced the same as those in Japan, some are cheaper (like the 50 cents Jagarico snack) and some will be 10%-20% higher at most.

Founder Takao Yasuda posing with the Donki mascot at the media preview of Don Don Donki in Singapore. (Photo: Elizabeth Tong/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Measuring a total of 1,397 square meters (about 15,000 sq ft) of space, Don Don Donki will also offer products from its in-house brand “Jonetsu Kakaku” as well as a Hokkaido-themed retail space consisting of goods such as Tokachi Beef.

Don Don Donki, better known as Donki, was founded by Japanese businessman Takao Yasuda and is owned by the Don Quijote Group. Its operations in Singapore will be helmed by Pan Pacific International Holdings, which is its holding company for overseas operations.

While the stores in Japan are called “Don Quijote”, the name for its Singapore branch has been changed to avoid confusion with a Spanish restaurant in the country of the same name. The term “Don Don Donki” was taken from the store’s theme song.

“The idea to have Don Don Donki in Singapore was suggested by Hokkaido Marche and Far East,” said Yasuda, 68, during a media preview on Wednesday (29 November).

“About two and a half years ago, I semi-retired and migrated to Singapore to live out the rest of my life. When I came here, I realised products in Singapore are very expensive. And in Japan, I’m known as the king of discounts.”

Don Quijote founder Takao Yasuda at the sushi section of the Don Don Donki store at Orchard Central. (Photo: Elizabeth Tong/ Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Hideki Okada, the director at Pan Pacific International Holdings, said, “Singapore is known to be Southeast Asia’s retail hub and is home to some of the biggest brands in the world. Therefore, we are thrilled to launch Don Don Donki here as our pioneer store for the rest of Southeast Asia.”

The company has plans to expand to other parts of Southeast Asia, with another branch due to open in Thailand in November 2018.

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