Popular Japanese discount chain Don Don Donki opens its doors this Friday (Dec 1) at Orchard Central.
This is its first Southeast Asian outlet and — wait for it — it’ll make shopping at Orchard Road great again with its affordable prices and vast array of products.
Yup, think of it as a Japanese Mustafa.
Some folks may know the store as Don Quijote in its native Japan (its parent company runs 364 stores there). It is called Don Don Donki (after the shop’s earworm jingle) here ’cos there is already a Spanish restaurant on Dempsey Hill claiming the Don Quijote name.
The two-storey 1,397 sqm behemoth of a store at Orchard Central’s basement features a supermarket selling fresh food and packaged snacks and condiments on the first level, and assorted goods such as cosmetics, toys, clothes and more snacks on the second floor.
What’s more, like some of its outlets in Japan’s busiest areas, the Singapore branch will be operating round the clock daily.
Which means you can shop for a $6,000 Grand Seiko watch or a $0.50 Calbee snack cup even at 3am if the urge strikes you.
According to its current chairman Takao Yasuda, the pricing for Don Don Donki is about “10 to 20 per cent” more expensive compared to Japan due to the higher operational costs here.
But if you do some smart shopping, some of the stuff here is still cheaper than what you'd find at Mustafa and Japanese supermarkets. Scroll through our photo gallery for some good deals we spotted at the store’s press preview today (Nov 29), plus interestingly wacky products. After all, what’s a Japanese store without some good ‘ol random-but-necessary knick-knacks?
Come end of January next year, you can also grab a bite at the affordable in-store “restaurant-food court” called Hokkaido Marche — opened in partnership with the eponymous food manufacturer. Order at their eight self-service outlets and savour your nosh at the communal seats.
Don Don Donki is planning to open another outlet at 100 AM mall in Tanjong Pagar by next June. And we are, um, pleased to report, they still play the ‘Don Don Donki’ jingle on loop in the store to get you in the Donki mood.
Don Don Donki, #B1-15/29; #B2-01/10; #B2-30/43 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd, S238896. Open 24 hours daily.
PHOTOS: AIK CHEN
VIDEO EDITED BY: PYRON TAN