Earlier this month a new store opened its doors on Granville Street as Daiso officially arrived in Canada.
The discount Japanese store has thousands of locations in Japan and Asia; a franchise version opened in Richmond a few years ago but has since re-branded.
The downtown shop has thousands of items, all from Japan. They range from the mundane (like tongs and baby safety devices) to the more flamboyant (like decorative nail art stickers or big stuffed whales). There's a lot of the in-between though; items that have mundane purposes, but with a bit of flair, like tongs specifically for eggs, Disney shopping bags, foxy socks for furniture or toilet decals featuring pandas.
While not a small shop, the sheer number of products can be a bit overwhelming. Instead of the same product taking up an entire shelf, each slot has something new, or at least a new variation of the same broad product. For example, there are at least two dozen different types or colours of scissors.
The shop seems to focus on household items, with lots of kitchen gadgets, bathroom supplies and small items for around the house, like pillowcases, but maybe the term focus shouldn't be used. There's also a large snack and candy area, toys, and some clothing. One area not particularly robust was electronics, which is dominated by batteries.
Prices start as low as under ¥150, or $2.25; Daiso is akin to Dollarama.
Its opening has drawn a regular line-up out front, with staff mentioning earlier in the day is better than later. It's open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.