[Update: 13 June 2018]
Japan’s Don Don Donki will be opening its second outlet in Singapore at 100AM shopping mall in Tras Street tomorrow (June 14).
At a media event today, Don Don Donki revealed its plans to expand further in Singapore, with a targeted 10 stores by 2020.
Another three stores will be opening here by next year, though locations are not yet confirmed.
Regionally, it is looking at opening a store in Bangkok by the end of the year.
In June, Don Don Donki announced plans for a Singapore outlet, and it’s finally happening.
Their first Singapore outlet is set to open at Orchard Central on Dec 1, and their second at Tanjong Pagar June 2018.
They will also be Don Don Donki’s first outlets in Asia outside of Japan.
Don Don Donki At Orchard
The space will span 1,397sqm and will be open 24/7. Out of the 2 levels, one will consist entirely of food.
Offering a Hokkaido retail theme, a third of the products will hail from the region, such as Tokachi Beef. A special feature will be the delicatessen section of sushi, sashimi and other goodies.
Partnering Hokkaido Marche, Don Don Donki will also be offering a Japanese dining experience of restaurant and food court.
The Don Don Donki bar will also be coming to Singapore, showcasing drinks from sake to whiskey. Some of the drinks will also be exclusive to the Singapore store.
The bar will be open from 4pm to 2am Sunday to Thursday and from 4pm to 3am on Friday and Saturday.
The only Don Don Donki bar is currently in Tachikaway Tokyo, so Singapore’s will be the only other outlet available.
With all the hype behind its arrival, Orchard Road is bound to become great again.
So why exactly is Don Quijote coming to Singapore anyway?
Singapore As A Regional Hub
The Singapore location will become a development centre for the Don Quijote Group to expand across Southeast Asia.
Considering our location, infrastructure and logistic networks, this makes practical sense.
It was speculated that the brand’s expansion to Singapore was due to the relocation of founder Takao Yasuda and his wife to Singapore.
But it appears to be the other way around – Takao Yasuda has moved to Singapore because Don Quijote is expanding here.
Takao Yasuda retired in June 2015, and his successor – Koji Oohara – was previously the Group’s President.
Faltering Confidence In New Management
Oohara’s appointment hardly brought confidence to Donki investors. When Yasuda resigned, investors actually sold stake in the company and stock fell 6%.
However, Oohara is bullish about their future, iterating that they “have a solid structure in place and will continue to be a flexible organisation.”
But investors are in doubt about his “ability to think five years ahead and his acumen in selecting new store locations and acquisition targets.” As such, Yasuda is set to stay on as advisor, and “will stay involved in those decisions and in the firm’s overseas strategy.”
Japan is also set to enjoy a surge in inbound tourism from China amongst others. The Don Quijote Group is leveraging on that to grow their tourist revenue from 5% to 10% by 2020. A looming change in Japan’s consumption taxes from 8% to 10% is also set to cause a shakeup in retail.
“Donki has the potential to become a key player, but it’s the new CEO’s role to decide who the company will tie up with,” cited a Deutsche Securities analyst.
Considering the priorities that Oohara will have in Japan alone, and the crucial role Singapore has in growing Donki in Southeast Asia, it makes sense that Yasuda relocate to Singapore.
So much for retirement.
But in any case, head down to Orchard Central tomorrow to get your Don Don Donki fix!
Featured Image Credit: Elizabeth Tong/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore