Queue forms as Japan's popular 24-hour discount store opens

Don Don Donki at Orchard Central, which is Don Quijote's first outlet in Singapore, opened its doors yesterday at 10am. Shoppers arrived up to two hours earlier but were permitted to start queueing only at 9.15am.
Don Don Donki at Orchard Central, which is Don Quijote's first outlet in Singapore, opened its doors yesterday at 10am. Shoppers arrived up to two hours earlier but were permitted to start queueing only at 9.15am.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

There was a line of more than a hundred people waiting outside the doors of 24-hour Japanese discount store Don Don Donki at Orchard Central before its opening at 10am yesterday.

The store is the popular Don Quijote brand's first outlet in Singapore. The outlet here was named Don Don Donki because a Don Quijote restaurant already exists here in Dempsey Road.

Shoppers arrived up to two hours earlier but were permitted to start queueing only at 9.15am.

For theatre specialist Tina Tan, who waited for an hour and was the first in line, it made sense to start queueing early to snag some of the offers before they were sold out.

The 29-year-old had, on her mobile phone, pictures of items she wanted to buy, which she had seen on social media, including potato chips that cost 50 cents a packet.

"I've never been to the store in Japan, but I saw all the buzz on social media over the past few days ahead of the opening and was really excited to check it out. I've heard it's like the Japanese equivalent of Mustafa," she said, referring to the popular 24-hour store in Little India.

Others like Ms Casmine Teo, 24, have shopped at the brand's stores in Japan and already knew what they wanted to buy.

"I've shopped at the store in Osaka and am here to get some beauty products and food items," she said. "I also like the fact that it's 24 hours here and so centrally located."

Also in the crowd were numerous Japanese nationals who were excited to finally get Japanese products and food items at pocket friendly prices.

Japanese housewife Seiko Endo had a basketful of snacks and food items only minutes after the store opened, saying she was excited that so much local produce was now available in Singapore at pocket friendly prices.

"This brand is huge in Japan and most people, locals and tourists, have likely shopped at many of its outlets in Japan. I'm glad it's finally in Singapore."

Don Quijote has 368 stores in Japan and the United States.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'Queue forms as Japan's popular 24-hour discount store opens'. Print Edition | Subscribe