SINGAPORE - Shoppers at Japanese discount store Daiso will soon have to pay more than $2 per item.
The budget retailer, known for pricing all its household and lifestyle products at a flat fee of $2, will no longer include the goods and services tax (GST) within that cost from May 1.
Notices were seen at the entrances of various outlets on Thursday (April 14), including at the Ion Orchard and Tampines 1 stores, informing customers of the impending price change.
According to the notice at the Tampines 1 outlet, all prices at Daiso will be exclusive of GST from May 1.
A check on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's website showed that Daiso has been a GST-registered business since April 2019.
Shoppers The Straits Times spoke to said they would not be deterred by a slight price increase.
Teacher Wu Xin, 42, who shops at Daiso every weekend, said she was not aware that prices would increase soon.
She said: “I think, from a consumer’s point of view, of course the cheaper, the better... but a marginal price increase would not stop me from patronising Daiso.”
Another teacher Terry Moran, 55, said he was not surprised that prices would be going up.
He said: “I shop here about once a month. With oil and petrol prices also going up, I’m really not surprised that they are increasing prices. I will still shop here though.”
But some said the price increase might push them to look for alternatives.
Retail worker Lin Gao Ming, 25, said: “I like Daiso because it’s convenient and cheap. I think the price increase would make me reconsider shopping here. Maybe I’ll go to the supermarket instead.”
Shoppers who frequent other budget retailers such as ValuDollar said that their wallets are feeling the pinch as rising inflation takes its toll.
Teacher and mother-of-two Shamala Pubalasigam said: “When the price of everything goes up but our income doesn’t, middle-income citizens like myself will suffer.”
The 45-year-old shops at ValuDollar every week for daily essentials.
She said: “If prices continue to go up, we will struggle to meet our daily needs. Even if we try to buy things online to save money, there’s going to be a tax too.”
A spokesman for retailer ValuDollar said prices on the shelves are inclusive of GST, and that the store will continue to keep prices low for customers.
He said: “Raw material, freight, and operation costs have increased significantly, there is no denying that. However, we have been working hard to find alternative sources to keep our prices competitive. Wherever possible, we are reducing our profit margins so that we can keep prices attractive and pass on the savings to our end consumers.”
The Straits Times has reached out to Daiso Singapore for comments regarding the GST charge on its products.
Singapore's GST rate will increase from 7 per cent to 8 per cent on Jan 1, 2023, and from 8 per cent to 9 per cent on Jan 1, 2024.
- Additional reporting by Deon Loke