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Daiso to open second location in Honolulu

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    People waited in long lines to enter and shop at Hawaii’s first Daiso store on Dec. 12.

Another Daiso store is opening in early March in the Makiki area.

The wildly popular Japanese discount retailer has secured space for its second Hawaii store at the former Piikoi Medical Clinic, on the corner of Piikoi and Young streets.

It opened its first Oahu store in mid-December at the Pearl City Shopping Center, which still had a 10-minute line for customers just to get into the door on Sunday.

“We’re very surprised. We knew the Daiso brand would be a strong brand in Hawaii, but it exceeded our expectations,” said Wayne Kamitaki, CEO of HouseMart, the parent company of Ben Franklin Crafts and Ace Hardware, which has an exclusive licensing agreement to open Daiso stores in the islands. “We’re surprised to see the traffic that store still draws two months after our grand opening. We’re very grateful for Daiso giving us the opportunity to open in Hawaii.”

The company hopes to grow the Daiso brand in Hawaii, he added.

The Honolulu location at 1024 Piikoi St. will sell everything from beauty products and household goods to Japanese snacks and stationery. While known as the “Japanese dollar store,” most products sell for $1.50.

The retailer, which has more than 70 stores on the mainland, has said it is able to keep prices down through high-volume sales that are in the millions for a single product.

“Discount retailers such as Daiso are the types of retailers that will continue to thrive in the turbulent retail scene,” said Duane Shimogawa, an analyst for the real estate consulting firm Avalon Group. “Expect to see more of these stores pop up across Oahu, and maybe on the neighbor islands, especially with the Japanese brand’s immense popularity in Hawaii.”

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