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Japanese Discount Chain Don Quijote Opening at Orchard Central

Its debut Singapore outlet occupies two storeys and is slated to be ready this November.

Don Quijote, the wonderfully bizarre Japanese discount chain store selling everything from gorilla gag masks to artisanal cheeses to second-hand Chanel bags, is opening its first Southeast Asia outlet on our shores.

Pronounced Don-Kee-Ho-Tay (or call it 'Donki’ like the Japanese), the store is popular for its array of affordable, eclectic knick-knacks as well as food, cosmetics and medicine, with some outlets catering to night owls by operating round the clock (think of it as a Japanese version of Mustafa lah).

Its behemoth outlet in Tokyo’s Akihabara district also has an exclusive theatre for Japanese girl group AKB48 to perform live.

But even if you’re not a J-pop fan, here’s why you should be excited: the Singapore store will make shopping at Orchard Road great again by occupying a sprawling two-storey space within Orchard Central’s Basement 1 and 2.

If it follows the layout of its Japanese counterpart, expect tens of thousands of products piled ceiling to floor for you to shop your heart out.

Deets for the opening date and goodies offered have not been confirmed, though we hear the store is slated to be completed by end of November.

The Japanese parent company Don Quijote Group has over 350 stores including three outlets in Hawaii (where a large Japanese community resides) since launching almost three decades ago.

The Group announced today (Jun 5) that its Singapore-based holding company, Pan Pacific International Holdings, will develop the local store and expand its Southeast Asian operations.

Oh, and if its first Singapore store does well, the Donki folks are thinking of opening another outlet at Liang Court too.

And it might not even be called 'Don Quijote' at all, since there is already a business named Don Quijote in Singapore — a Spanish restaurant on Dempsey Hill. Maybe it will be named Don-don-don-don-ki like its earworm jingle instead? 

Will they become the Uniqlo of general stores? Your guess is as good as ours. Watch this space.

UPDATE (Nov 10, 2017): Don Quijote is finally opening in Singapore this December! But it will be called Don Don Donki instead, with a Hokkaido retail theme (a third of its product range including snacks will be imported from Hokkaido). Look forward to a dine-in area, drinks bar and Hokkaido food stalls too.

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