Shared from Grocery Dive
japanese store

The Brief:

  • Japanese supercenter retailer Don Quijote plans to expand in the U.S., according to the Nikkei Asia Review. The retailer’s parent company, Pan Pacific International Holdings, currently operates Marukai supermarkets in the U.S. and three Don Quijote stores in Hawaii.
  • Don Quijote stores are known in Japan for their wide-ranging assortment and cluttered “jungle displays.” Pan Pacific CEO Koji Ohara told the Review the company will develop a new format for the U.S. that will have “Don Quijote-ism at the core.” Ohara will resign from his position as CEO next month to take control of U.S. operations.
  • Through acquisitions, Pan Pacific now operates 38 stores in the U.S. but hopes to increase its store count to 100 long-term.

Insight:

A typical Don Quijote store, known as “Donki” in Japan, is a 24-hour megastore crammed with merchandise in every nook and cranny and featuring brightly colored discount signs. It sells everything from groceries to cleaning supplies to Prada bags.

Although few details are available about its new U.S. format, Don Quijote will probably stick to its three pillars of convenience, discount and amusement, said Sean Butler, managing director at supply chain consulting firm LIDD, in an email to Grocery Dive.

Butler explained that these three pillars could help the retailer find success in the U.S. Convenience and value are driving U.S. consumer behavior more than any other force today, and Don Quijote’s success will hinge on its execution of “amusement” for the U.S. market, he said. Butler compares Don Quijote’s format and assortment to that of American discount chain Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

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