Amazing people who
supported Daiso

Ep. 05: Takashi Kuroda,
former Executive
in charge of the
Compliance Dept.
When the store floor area expanded to around 330 ㎡, we started the Material Call project. When the store floor area expanded to around 330 ㎡, we started the Material Call project.

Equation for growth: y = ax + b

I joined Daiso at the age of 28. At that time, annual sales totaled 3 billion yen, and we mainly held events in supermarkets. We would rent a space in a supermarket for one week, then move to another. I once suggested to the former president (Hirotake Yano, the founder) the equation y = ax + b, where y is total sales, a is event sales, and x is number of events. Daiso did not have “+b” by which I meant store sales.

In the late 90s, we opened two stores each day and up to 64 stores each month.

For example, we set up a small (about 35 ㎡) sales floor called the 100 Yen Club in the stationery section of a major supermarket. The idea was to increase permanent sales spaces. However, the number of items was limited, and there was no catalog to place orders. We handled handwritten orders sent via fax. This process was difficult to manage and, not surprisingly, we failed. The first directly managed store opened in 1991 in Takamatsu, Kagawa. Although the floor area was 100 ㎡ and stocked with only about 300 items, the store sold 1 million yen each day. In the beginning, we tried to open stores in shopping districts, but we had a hard time renting space. Nevertheless, we gradually became well known, and by the late 1990s, we opened two stores every day and up to 64 stores every month.

We moved forward knowing it was unreasonable.

Around that time, we opened a store with 300 ㎡ of floor space. A project called Material Call was started to keep customers excited. We displayed items grouped not by use but material: Glass, Iron, Bamboo, and others. When we opened the first such store, I was told to open a 1,000 ㎡ store in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, which was triple the floor area, but when it opened, it sold a record high 3 million yen a day. After just two months, I was told that the next store would Cowboy Kamiiso at 1,320 ㎡.
That store also set a new sales record at 4.8 million yen. We went ahead knowing it was unreasonable.


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