The US has seen 7,500 store closings in 2019, and Coresight Research predicts the number could hit 12,000 by the end of the year. However, that is not deterring the operator of Japanese discount store chain Don Quijote, Pan Pacific International Holdings. The retailer is developing a new store format in the US to attract a larger share of the market by shifting from its current supermarket model.
Marukai, one of PPIH’s supermarket businesses in the US, “is essentially a Japanese supermarket, so the market is limited,” said CEO Koji Ohara to Asian Review. “To expand in the prominent U.S. market, [PPIH will] develop a new store model that targets U.S. shoppers. The new retail format will have Don Quijote-ism at the core in terms of being able to counter pressure from e-commerce.”
Don Quijote stores, known as “Donki” in Japan, are famous for their chaotic displays and broad range of items crammed into small spaces at deep discounts advertised with colorful point-of-sales signage.
This represents a pivot for the Japanese retailer, who has been achieving gradual growth since 2006 through the acquisition of local retailers. Their new strategy is to increase the current store count from 38 to 100 in the long term. There are currently three Don Quixote stores in Hawaii. The company plans to launch new stores by filling the niches left by other retailers that have closed.
Ohara emphasized that Donki is the only retailer in Japan that has managed to cope in the age of digitization, and “there is no retailer that can rival that in the US.”
Read more at Asian Review.
Photo: Danny Choo via Flickr