Updated December 30, 2021 - 8:14 pm
Christen Tranate was so excited about the impending Daiso opening that she barely slept Tuesday night. And on Wednesday morning, the Las Vegas resident got to the Japanese discount store at 6 a.m. to be the first in line for its 10 a.m. grand opening.
“We’ve been wanting a Daiso here in Las Vegas for years now, so that’s why we’re here,” Tranate said, wearing a Hello Kitty face mask. “We wanted to say we’re the first ones in. We made an agreement, we’re putting our foot (in) at the same time.”
Tranate and her friend achieved that goal as the first customers inside at the store’s opening, leading the line that wrapped around the Arroyo Market Square and onto the sidewalk on Badura Avenue, behind the plaza in the southwest valley.
The 6,000-square-foot store is the first Daiso location in Nevada and the 81st in the United States, Shuhei Geshi, Daiso California’s assistant manager, said. Described by some as a “Japanese dollar store,” the retailer plans to open two more locations in the Las Vegas area in 2022 — one at Downtown Summerlin and another in Henderson.
Most items are priced at $1.50, though some items may sell for more. Customers browsed the aisles full of home goods, kitchenware, electronics, Asian snacks, beauty supplies, “kawaii,” or cute, gifts like large plush dinosaurs, and stationary products such as hamburger-shaped erasers. Japanese packaged products had their prices listed in yen, and posters across the store showed price conversion charts to the U.S. dollar.
Shoppers were excited to be among the first customers in Nevada. Many who had visited other locations, including California, Seattle or New York, brought friends and family to the opening to introduce them to the store.
“I know about Daiso because it’s very popular in social media and very common in California,” Las Vegas resident Kayla Smith said. “I’ve been wanting one to open for a really long time.”
To celebrate and promote the grand opening, the first 100 customers who purchase a minimum of $30 will receive a goodie bag on Thursday. Also, the first 100 customers who purchase at least $50 of merchandise will receive a 15-inch plushie toy. The store also promoted various giveaways throughout the day.
Daiso has nearly 6,000 stores in Japan and worldwide, according to its website. It’s relying on that popularity to continue its U.S. expansion, Geshi said. The company, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022, hopes to open more U.S. stores throughout the next year.
“I’m pretty sure our customers really like our products,” Geshi said. “Not only today, please come back every week or every day. We always have a new products.”
McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.