Recently, many shops are struggling financially due to the national economic slump. However, one shop is showing great growth despite the financial situation. The chain now operates 1,100 nationwide, and on average there are about 600,000 customers visiting the shops daily. Have you figured out what shop this is? It’s Daiso. The shop sells various kinds of goods. In order to investigate how it has managed to become a success, Jieun Kim, reporter with Sookmyung Times decided to go to Daiso.
A shopper’s Heaven
A pre-visit investigation of the nearest shop to Sookmyung Women’s University on the Internet, revealed 5 shops in the vicinity. This is not unusual as there has been an increase in the number of Daiso shops near university campuses in recent months. Also, just a few years ago, the shops were quite small, and most of them were only 1 story. However, with its customer numbers growing, Daiso have expanded. There are even 5-story tall Daiso shops. What is Daiso’s marketing edge? SMT reporter went to Yeongdeungpo Daiso near Times Square to find out. The shop is big, with 4 floors. Even though the reporter went there in the early morning, she found she was not alone, but the shop was a bustle with numerous customers. On each floor, she found various kinds of products such as school supplies, kitchen goods, ornaments, and electronic equipment. The reporter was surprised to discover she could also purchase underwear and party goods. There were so many diverse products that the reporter looked about excitedly here and there. She felt she was in a shopper’s heaven with all the various items as she set about to explore the possibilities.
Success Strategy: 1,000 won or Handmade
Walking about the shop, the reporter discovered 3 key selling points: low prices, fresh new products, and good quality. Daiso is founded on the motto: 50% of our goods are either priced under 1,000won or handmade. Indeed, this SMT reporter found that most products were priced at 1,000won or 2,000won. The most expensive product she encountered was 5,000won. The reporter had always wanted to buy smartphone portable speakers, but would also give up on the idea due to their expensive cost. However, at Daiso, the portable speakers were 60% cheaper than even online shopping mall prices.
Daiso also sells very creative and amusing products. Especially, the reporter fancied the ‘stick hair curl’ and ‘ddong puff’, two products every lady in their twenties desires. Both were only 1,000 won. The ‘stick hair curl’ makes straight hair wavy in just 5 minutes with its unique sponge stick. The product is both convenient and safe, which is something women look for today in a hair product. Typically, women have used tongs to curl their hair, and this can be very damaging to the hair. With the ‘stick hair curl’, women won’t have to worry about damage any longer. Also, another difficult thing women experience is the tying of one’s hair into a ddong. However, using Daiso’s ‘ddong puff’ makes it easy. Just as these two examples show, Daiso’s selling of creative and amusing goods could be factors behind its success.
Lastly, the reporter found that Daiso tries to provide its customers with good quality items. One of the misunderstandings the reporter had prior to her visit was that most of products sold at the shop were imports from China and Japan. Therefore, the reporter was wary of Daiso products. However, learning that Daiso requires 50% of its goods to be domestically made, despite their low price, customers can be assured of durability. When the reporter purchased the ‘stick hair curl’ and ‘smartphone portable speakers’, she really didn’t expect them to be as good as they were. However, ‘stick hair curl’ gave her great wavy hair in just a few minutes, and the curls lasted the entire day before she washed them out at night. Also, the speakers had exceptionally good sound quality for the price she paid for them. Moreover, they were convenience because of their small size and weight. She could bring them anywhere, and because of their handiness, she decided to bring them along with her to her next party or camping trip.
Super Duper Daiso
The reporter always thought that in order to be honest company, employers must pay attention to employees’ voices. Daiso’s success, above all, could be its attention to employment. Daiso currently hires about 8,400 workers, an increase of 11 times compared to 2006, and 80% of its workers are mid-aged ladies in their 30s to 50s. In fact, when this reporter visited Daiso, she noticed that there were more than 10 workers in the shop, and 80% of them were women. Daiso is an innovative enterprise operating in today’s recession. Although a number of similar shops have appeared in the market like MINISO, Flying Tiger, and Butter Shop and are focusing on low-priced products, it may take them a long time to catch up to the reputation of Daiso in Korea. This reporter recommends Daiso for all Sookmyungians burdened by finances but seeking best buys.