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The evolution of 100-yen shops and how they've changed people's lives

52 Comments

Shiho, 43, stopped in at a 100-yen shop on her way home from work. She was out of garbage bags, that most unromantic of household items – but while there, she thought, why not look around a bit? You never know what you’ll find, and sure enough, here was a surprise – wine. One-hundred yen wine. Her husband doesn’t like wine, so she rarely gets to indulge her own taste for it, but… well, why not? “If it’s no good,” she shrugged, expecting the worst, “I’ll just throw it down the sink, and what’ve I lost? A hundred yen!” Big deal.

At home, a second surprise awaited her – the wine wasn’t bad. Not great, but certainly drinkable. Enjoyable, even.

The 100-yen shops are like that. Josei Seven (Feb 26) chronicles their rise – from nothing a generation ago to fixtures it would be difficult to imagine daily life without today. They’re more than convenient, and more than cheap. They’re fun.

Economist Takuro Morinaga traces their history back to street stalls popular in the 1970s – makeshift establishments that were here today, gone tomorrow. They sold stationery, keyholders and miscellaneous bric-a-brac, each item, whatever it was, priced at 100 yen. The 1980s saw the rise of supermarkets, which on occasion would stage “100-yen sales.” Slowly the idea took hold. In the vanguard was Daiso Industries, which opened its first “The Daiso” 100-yen shop in 1991 and now runs roughly 3,700 of them. Ranking second is Seria with 1,200 outlets; third, CanDo with 900. That adds up to 5,000-odd shops nationwide and something of a shopping revolution.

What are you running short of? Fertilizer for the garden? Flower pots? Batteries? Slippers? Clothespins? Toilet cleaner? Maybe something a little less practical? Handmade costume jewelry? Lunchboxes for the kids, festooned with popular cartoon characters? Or maybe nothing specific; you’ll explore the stock and if something catches your eye – an onion slicer? A device that removes seeds from mangoes? “How silly,” you think – “I don’t need this!” But… 100 yen, a mere 100 yen. No one will accuse you of doing violence to the household budget if indulgence comes so cheap.

How does this work, though, in economic terms? How can 100-yen shops turn a profit, 100 yen at a time? Mass production, bulk ordering and uncluttered distribution channels are the three secrets, Josei Seven finds. The first involves ordering from low-wage factories in developing countries (what the working conditions in those factories might be is not discussed); the second, ordering in units of tens of thousands: the third, dealing directly with the manufacturers – no middlemen.

Can such a plethora of items as 100-yen shops boast all be of the same value? Of course not, Morinaga explains. The shop’s cost price will vary, depending on the item, from 10 yen to well above 100 yen. “In the end,” he says, “cheaper items and more expensive ones balance each other out, and it works out very profitably.”

The concept is not unique to Japan – “dollar shops” are highly popular in North America, for example – but something in the Japanese character seems to favor it. “The Japanese like new things,” says Morinaga, “new and clean. They’re comfortable with throwing things out after use” – the disposable chopsticks known as waribashi being a prime example of what he calls Japan’s “waribashi culture.” “In Europe,” he says, “people will use things for decades.” Hundred-yen shops might not do so well there.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


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“In Europe,” he says, “people will use things for decades.” Hundred-yen shops might not do so well there.

Well, we have 1€-shops in Germany (~135¥-shops), for example a chain called "Tedi". But compared to Daiso, where you will find quite nice stuff from time to time, most of the stuff they sell is quite crappy and low quality. I do not expect something I buy there to last for years, but most stuff even looks like it breaks apart while opening the packaging.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

http://www.daisoglobal.com/products/

Quality x Variety x Uniqueness

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These shops are getting better all the time. Some of the products are even made in Japan. We have a shop called Dollarama in Canada. Not everything is a dollar anymore but they are starting to carry name brand products for $2 or $3 which other stores cannot match. Crest toothpaste for $1.25. Hard to beat.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Its great to see that these type of stores are in Japan. In the states dollar tree is an excellent place to do your basic shopping at.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mass production, bulk ordering and uncluttered distribution channels are the three secrets, Josei Seven finds.

Or rather not obscene markups. 3D printing has made a lot of consumers aware of the real production cost of simple products, for example a toothbrush can be printed (if you have the equipment) for about 23 yen. When you see the same thing selling in a supermarket for 500 yen it makes you think that perhaps manufacturers have been getting away with unrealistic markups for far too long.

So rather than excusing everyone else let's rather say that 100 yen shops are selling products at closer to their true value plus a more reasonable markup.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

One of the truly great things in Japan. All those little odds and ends, f.e. for the kitchen, that cost outrages prices elsewhere, not just in Japan, here they are for 100 Yen....

One thing however is not true: "At home, a second surprise awaited her – the wine wasn’t bad."

Maybe for a japanese sommelier... for a european wine drinker the stuff is absolutely horrible.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Love the 100yen shops(originated in Japan), not all stores are equal though.

18yrs ago you got strange looks when shopping at one but was cheap to help furnish my 1st apartment here.

Daiso, Can Do, 100Yen Shop and 100Yen Lawson(mostly food) are my fave.

But be warned many items can be had cheaper at the super, or the 100yen shops sells a smaller volume.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These 100-yen shops succeed because they externalize many of their costs, especially the social impact of underpaid work and the environmental impacts of the throw-away, plastic economy. These costs are paid especially by people in poor countries, by future generations and by other natural life.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

What I like about Y100 shops is that they always have things in them that I did not know I needed before I entered the shop.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

100yen shops are the walmart's of Japan

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Disagree with volland. The 100 yen shop wine I tried was from France and tasted, as the article said "not bad". Certainly "vin de table" rather than "au chateau", but considerably better than many low-cost wines on sale in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I can never get over the amount of instruction text on (including diagrams) the packaging - for so many different items.

3D printing has made a lot of consumers aware of the real production cost of simple products, for example a toothbrush can be printed (if you have the equipment) for about 23 yen

I am sure a 3-D printer does not cost 100 yen. Or, that is a lot of 23-yen toothbrushes to recoup the actual cost of the 3-D printer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In America they actually sell expired food at 99 cent stores, while saying "Our goal is to ensure you only get fresh food when you buy." ("Goal" being a weasel word here.)

Japan would NEVER do this.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

In America they actually sell expired food at 99 cent stores, while saying "Our goal is to ensure you only get fresh food when you buy." ("Goal" being a weasel word here.)

Japan would NEVER do this.

Of course not Japan would repackage it.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I can never get over the amount of instruction text....

Oh, for sure! Come for the low prices; stay for the hilarity of the Engrish instructions on the packaging - it's a two-for-one!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan would NEVER do this. no theyd either mix it in with a new batch or relabel it something else, problem solved

1 ( +3 / -2 )

inshikokuFeb. 20, 2015 - 10:52AM JST I am sure a 3-D printer does not cost 100 yen. Or, that is a lot of 23-yen toothbrushes to recoup the actual cost of the 3-D printer.

If I was only printing toothbrushes you'd have a point. But for a thousand yen or so I could also print out a fully functioning prosthetic limb worth about a million yen, which would cover the cost of the machine in one shot.

My point, which you missed, is that as 3D printers get cheaper we're going to become more and more aware of the real cost of things and unwilling to pay the hugely inflated markups charged in most stores.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So rather than excusing everyone else let's rather say that 100 yen shops are selling products at closer to their true value plus a more reasonable markup.

If you're happy with 100-yen shop quality (and choice), then maybe. The quality varies considerably, but predictably, it tends to reflect the price all too well. The idea of equipping a kitchen with 100 yen utensils, dishes and glasses, for example, is not very appealing. It's made for people who don't particularly care what they're buying.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Peter Payne: In America they actually sell expired food at 99 cent stores, while saying "Our goal is to ensure you only get fresh food when you buy." ("Goal" being a weasel word here.)

Japan would NEVER do this.

Daiso does in USA, marking them 'expired so they're cheaper', but I don't know if Daiso management in USA is Japanese or not. Just google "daiso expired products".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 100-yen shops in Japan beat any equivalent in any nation by far. Granted, if you want to buy some good quality kitchen implements or name-brand goods you need to go somewhere else, but they have stuff that you can't find elsewhere without difficulty, and as long as you can use/don't mind cheaper quality (in some cases) the places are perfect for doing some minor shopping. Add a Yamaya section to it (as with Daiso/Speed) and you also get a lot of cheap, foreign foods you can't find elsewhere in Japan (the Yamaya is not 100-yen goods, of course).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wipeout.

I get all my plates and more at "Natural Kitchen" (kitchen related 100 yen shop). Plates are square microwave, dishwasher and Oven proof.

Or go a bit higher to Cous Cous or Kitcheby Kitchen where everything is 300yen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The 100-yen shops in Japan beat any equivalent in any nation by far.

Probably because Japan is so close to China where all the cheap disposable rubbish is made - to the detriment of the environment of course.

Change people's lives - Yes I'd agree - more consumption of cheap rubbish, that will end up as rubbish

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In America they actually sell expired food at 99 cent stores, while saying "Our goal is to ensure you only get fresh food when you buy." ("Goal" being a weasel word here.)

Check to make sure exactly how the dates are worded. Here's the quick lowdown about label dates:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/truth-about-expiration-dates-can-food-outlast-labels-294450

“Here’s a superbly-kept secret: All those dates on food products — sell by, use by, best before — almost none of those dates indicate the safety of food, and generally speaking, they’re not regulated in the way many people believe,” a 2013 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic writes.The report found that up to 90 percent of consumers have thrown out food based on expiration dates, assuming the food is unsafe to eat. This sort of mentality only leads to food waste.

In fact, the idea of expiration dates actually sprouted from a concern for food’s freshness, not necessarily its safety, so the majority of food dates have to do with how fresh they will be by a certain time, not necessarily how spoiled they'll be. You might also not know the difference between labels placed on food products. The “Sell by” date, for example, only refers to how long a store can keep the product on its shelves. Food lasting past the “Sell by” date shouldn’t be tossed just because it’s a few days past the timeframe that it should have been sold at the store. The “Best if used by” date defines the timeframe that foods will be freshest, but this doesn’t pertain to safety, either. The “Use by” date, meanwhile, is the last day for “peak quality,” meaning the food’s taste and quality may get worse afterwards, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get sick if you eat it. The only label, in fact, that has anything to do with food safety is the “Expiration” date, which should typically be adhered to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The 100-yen shops in Japan beat any equivalent in any nation by far

Wow, you must be well traveled to come up with such a grand statement!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I always buy my reading glasses, 6 to 10 pairs at a time, in the 100 yen shop. There is no way at all to compare cost and value with any other reading glasses available. Thus..they are disposable, if a little scratched or marked, if squashed out of shape. My eyes benefit from always clear view lenses. I have learned too, that ones sight can be altered by different conditions and events... stress or certain ailments, moods or foods...might all bring about different sight capability, so I have a selection of different lens strengths from 1.50 to 3. And out of my selection..I choose the best for the day. I buy the largest lenses available, those with wire, no-ornament frames...for a painter... they give the least cluttered and widest possible view. Thank you Daiso. Another product I always buy when in Japan is the big packs of chopsticks. I need to do so little washing up, when a set of chopstixs at such a micro price for a huge pack, can be used several times before being recycled for other uses. I have no use whatsoever for style or name brands of anything, and the most basic of kitchen goods available, suits my purposes. I do not want to waste a moment of my life working to pay for nonessential trivia. Basic food supplies are sometimes useful ..although there is not a lot to beat the Kombini onigiri...The scissors and nailclippers proved much more durable than I could have imagined, and the soft crayons in brilliant colors together with good art papers in different sizes, are excellent. Different kinds of bags, in a wide range of sizes and styles, seem to last for ever. I found the padded insoles for shoes, very comfortable.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Love em...Love em..... It's a family event for us !! Can't walk past one without going in... Have been known to spend £50 ( English Pounds ) in one shop !!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Exactly.

Pens, notepad and similar stuff is great at the 100 yen shop, especially if you got toddlers. Heck they even stock socks, underpants and T-Shirts.

For most disposable items like kitchen sponges or similar they are great.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One of the '100 yen' shops near me sells some stuff for way over 100 yen, up to 1,000 yen for jogging pants.

I get all kinds of stuff at the 100 yen shops, like lip balm, wet tissue packs, flashlights, tape, tea bags, can openers, chocolate, Oreo cookies...

I imagine that as Abenomics continues, the 100 yen shops will continue to expand their business.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No shortage of 99p or less shops here in the UK, can't walk down a main shopping street these days without tripping over at least 3 or 4.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All those little odds and ends, f.e. for the kitchen, that cost outrages prices elsewhere, not just in Japan, here they are for 100 Yen....

True. And I found that for many years that I was constantly replacing those cheap things because they broke in 2 minutes or months. For example, when I finally got wise and bought both a $30 corkscrew and $30 can opener in steel, those have now lasted 30 years. That's $1 a year--equivalent to replacing a crappy tool every year.

Plus, buying fewer quality items from the get-go, I save on the transportation costs to go get the stuff and keep the broken crap out of the landfill. I do not support the exploitation of the poor (which warispeace mentions), and I likely support a local business or artisan by making those choices. Bonus: I have an object of beauty that is a pleasure to use at less cost to the environment and other human beings. I can use it without guilt.

Other good sources of inexpensive, high quality items are thrift stores. Those usually raise money for charities and are full of quality items (likely owned and cared for by granny and grandad) which their children and grandchildren failed to appreciate. I can't tell you how many gorgeous ikebana vases, Japanese tea cups and the like I have found in my local Canadian thrift stores for 15 cents (on sale day) or as little as $2.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Warispeace, sadly you have written the terrifying truth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wipeoutFeb. 20, 2015 - 03:10PM JST If you're happy with 100-yen shop quality (and choice), then maybe. The quality varies considerably, but predictably, it tends to reflect the price all too well. The idea of equipping a kitchen with 100 yen utensils, dishes and glasses, for example, is not very appealing. It's made for people who don't particularly care what they're buying.

Typed like someone who confuses cost with quality. I have a lovely cut glass wineglass I'm drinking from right now that would probably run about 1,500+ in most stores and I picked up fro 100 yen.

Now it might be an imitation, but if so it is a very good one. The weight is right, the pattern is right for real cut glass (not too complex, but pleasing to the eye), and it has proved to be of good quality and perfect for drinking from.

I sometimes visit 100yen shops just to browse what they have in stock, and often I buy nothing because there isn't anything I need or the quality isn't right, but the same could be said for any store, except that other stores charge insane markups for the same or similar products.

Oh, and my kitchen is equipped with a lot of 100 yen store items, and most of them have stood the test of time for more than 5 years.

Perhaps the problem you're experiencing isn't the quality of the goods, but rather the quality of the buyer?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@warispeaceFeb. 20, 2015 - 09:16AM JST These 100-yen shops succeed because they externalize many of their costs, especially the social impact of underpaid work and the environmental impacts of the throw-away, plastic economy. These costs are paid especially by people in poor countries, by future generations and by other natural life."

Thank you for reminding us, that is so true. Apple and others would never do something like that.

This is the real world....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I bought a small plastic pail from Daiso Singapore for a minor paint job. I expected to it throw it away after use, but it was better quality than an existing one which got thrown away instead. Now whenever we DIY at home, our first stop is Daiso.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Peter Payne, the Daiso near my home does indeed have a bin of expired food; however, it is clearly labeled as such. I see this more as the management wanting to get money out of everything they can. I get the impression that Japanese stores in America such as Mitsuwa, Kinokuniya, Marakai, and Daiso do not believe in the concept of sale merchandise. We laugh when Marakai announces a 5% off sale. Wow, that's really going to make us want to shop there! Not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Frungy

Typed like someone who confuses cost with quality.

Nice try at a dig, but no, I just don't much like tacky crap. 100 yen for a knife or fork will invariably be too cheap. I've used those stores in the past, they're handy if you need to equip your place in a hurry, and most particularly if you have very little money to do it with. Most of us have been in that position at some point in our lives, especially when moving to Japan.

But when I have a choice, which I do nowadays, I prefer things to be well designed and to last for many years so that I don't have to buy them again. I like things that actually feel good to use. I choose carefully, and that process often involves not choosing the most expensive. But it's rarely the cheapest either, and 100 yen shops are all about being the cheapest and providing improbable products at that price (you'd have to be high to think a saucepan for 100 yen is anything but useless junk).

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

wipeoutFeb. 21, 2015 - 11:55AM JST @Frungy

Typed like someone who confuses cost with quality.

Nice try at a dig, but no, I just don't much like tacky crap. 100 yen for a knife or fork will invariably be too cheap.

In your very first line you prove my point. "100 yen ... be too cheap". Your logic is completely circular. 100yen = too cheap = "tacky crap".

Have you even looked at the knives and forks in 100 yen shops? The one near me sometimes stocks stainless steel , which is pretty much the last word in durable and practical cutlery.

As for your parting shot that a 100yen saucepan has to be junk... why? Why does a 10 000yen saucepan have to not be junk? You're confusing cost with quality, like countless people.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

ifd66: "Change people's lives - Yes I'd agree - more consumption of cheap rubbish, that will end up as rubbish"

They have their fair share of 'rubbish', for sure. But how are the notebooks, writing paper, and other daily implements 'rubbish'? On the contrary, people who pay top dollar for the exact same things are simply fools.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

As for your parting shot that a 100yen saucepan has to be junk... why? Why does a 10 000yen saucepan have to not be junk? You're confusing cost with quality, like countless people.

No. And if you read what I wrote with a touch more care, I don't say anywhere that price alone guarantees the quality of something. So yes, it's perfectly possible for a 10,000 yen saucepan to be junk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wipeout - You're in denial. Read what you wrote again, "Nice try at a dig, but no, I just don't much like tacky crap. 100 yen for a knife or fork will invariably be too cheap.".

I don't say anywhere that price alone guarantees the quality of something.

You state it simple and clearly, and there's no going back. You clearly believe that price "invariably" correlates with quality.

Just take wine in Japan. I picked up an excellent bottle of wine for under 2000 yen (and this isn't just my opinion, several wine tasters rate this bottle as 4 out of 5 stars) ... and next to it was a lousy bottle of wine more suited for cleaning drains that was twice the price (and rated 2 out of 5 stars by most wine experts). You really need to be an educated consumer in Japan, because there's a lot of overpriced stuff out there relying on this "price = quality" myth.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

At times, it beats buying at Tokyu Department Store. A notebook is well worth 100 yen at times or a small broom.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In the UK we have a wide selection of shops just like this, pound land, 99 pence shop to name a few, in recent years these have grown in popularity, and I can see them catching on in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You have to be very careful what kind of quality you are getting in these kinds of stores. I bought some "stainless steel" spoons, but they started rusting out in less than six months! So all they did was add more garbage to the landfill.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You state it simple and clearly, and there's no going back. You clearly believe that price "invariably" correlates with quality.

Evidently I have to repeat myself: I don't state anywhere that price alone guarantees the quality of something.

How about you back off a little until you've understood that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wipeoutFeb. 21, 2015 - 05:21PM JST Evidently I have to repeat myself: I don't state anywhere that price alone guarantees the quality of something. How about you back off a little until you've understood that.

You clearly and repeatedly do:

Nice try at a dig, but no, I just don't much like tacky crap. 100 yen for a knife or fork will invariably be too cheap.

and

The quality varies considerably, but predictably, it tends to reflect the price all too well.

How about you just accept responsibility for what you typed, amend your statement and apologise like an adult.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

How about you just accept responsibility for what you typed, amend your statement and apologise like an adult.

And again: I don't state anywhere that price alone guarantees the quality of a product.

You still apparently don't understand what that means.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Major saving can be discovered and coveted at the 100 Yen Store... it has to be true. Shopped Dollar, General Family Dollar Store and Thrift Shops for bargains. Real money saving adventures. Over 25 years blind folded a consumer can save a minimum of 20 30 grand blind folded. A real economic stimulus. Money is like ah mighty River... A river of cash flows into the home.... and it goes out in tributaries. My Billionaire Friend in Whitesburg Kentucky passed this wisdom on ....""Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves."" Have fun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Daiso is the biggest and clearly most popular of several "100-yen" stores in Japan, at least in Kansai. I like Daiso, but also go to whatever's most convenient, like the one connected to Daikoku drug stores. They're a lot smaller than Daiso but often have what I need, and charge no tax, thus truly 100-yen stores, not (currently) 108-yen stores like Daiso.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These 100-yen shops succeed because they externalize many of their costs, especially the social impact of underpaid work and the environmental impacts of the throw-away, plastic economy. These costs are paid especially by people in poor countries, by future generations and by other natural life.

Tell me son, what is better, underpaid work? Or no work? The Walmart argument is flawed, sure, the workers are paid little, and may collect public benefits. But these benefits are a fraction of what they would be if these workers were entirely unemployed, right? And Walmart's profits? Almost no profit is sat upon, or kept in a vault, it is almost entirely reinvested, and the funds are used to create or expand business, very likely some of these invested funds find their way into your paycheck.

Next, take a look at the Japan around you. The population is falling quickly, meaning that Japanese businesses, even 100 yen shops, have fewer paying customers every year. As it is, fully 70% of Japanese domestic companies remain classified as "loss-producing". Exactly how can these companies pay more? And with wages as low as they are in the 90% of Japan which exists outside the large cities, 100 yen shops are one of the few affordable places many can shop at.

Please tell me in detail about the price paid in poorer countries. As globalization has progressed, developed countries may indeed be paying less, but a full fifth of the world's population (about 1.3 billion) in developing countries has been lifted out of poverty.

It is always fun to see how hypocritical people are. They want to tax the rich to feed the poor, but by the standards of more than half the world, you yourself are filthy rich. Why should you cry if your pay is cut when the money finds it's way into the hands of a worker elsewhere in the world who formerly earned as much in a month as you spend for one lunch at McDonald's? Why don't you apply the same yardstick to yourself as you apply to others?

The sad truth is that anyone with a healthy body and half a brain can be as successful, or make as much money as they want, but too few people bother. Rather than make something which pays them what they think they deserve, they want others to pay them instead. I am sorry if you believe I value you less than you think you are worth, but why should I value anymore than you value yourself? If a minimum wage worker values his time to be worth $15 an hour, it is a tragedy. I assign no limits to my worth, therefore I assign no limits to what I will do to acheive it.

I get tired of inexperienced young people or academics who know less about the real world than they do about the surface of Mars, and yet vent vociferously at the supposed wrongs that occur. Try starting your own business. Invest your savings, put yourself in debt, and put it all into smething you believe in. Put in 16 hour days and 7 day workweeks, and fret for the first few years hoping that your business will earn enough to pay the bank, your taxes, and your staff, and hopefully leave something for yourself. Think about having a hundred or so workers that depend on you to feed their families, and how any decision you make affects their lives. Then assign a value to what what you have risked, the work you have done up to this point, and the hard work, thinking, and choices which will have to be made almost daily, particularly in a shrinking economy, in the face of ever-increasing foreign competition. I do all of these, and I love it. A life without challenges is not a life, you should go out and live for yourself, not your boss, or his company.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Daiso and the like are great places to get all kinds products in one shop. So much less time wasted than going to multiple shops and paying double the cost.

3 ( +2 / -0 )

For my part, when I was in Japan I found the Hundred-Yen Shops to be top shelf, especially since coming back to the USA and shopping at Everything's-A-Dollar-type stores here (The Dollar Tree doesn't hold a candle to Daiso). I remember once leaving home to go to work in Japan one Summer and forgot to bring a tie (I learned the habit of not wearing one outside in the humidity and then putting it on once I was inside). Thank the Good LORD there was a hundred-yen shop between the station where I exited the train and my place of employment: bought a simple maroon tie with tiny, pinhead white dots (that I still have and wear to this day). I liked Hundred-Yen-Shops' stationary, as well (again, nothing comes close to Japan in this regard here in the States), sometimes needing a pen or two for work, as well as a notebook, and Hundred-Yen-Shops being conveniently located to the places I worked. American Dollar-Shops are okay, but Japan's Hundred-Yen-Shops blow them outta' the water with their quality and diversity of merchandise....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jason.

I had a similar experience. After taking a supplier around for the day my boss announced an impromptu nomi-kai at an Japanese pub. Middle of summer and starts in 45 minutes, no time to go home and change undershirt or socks.

Sprinted to the closest 100yen store and got both plus some body sheets/wipes and more, same with ties bought a bunch and some tiepins there too and kept them in a desk drawer.

Luckily they also sell black and white ties which are needed for funerals and weddings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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