Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

100 Yen Shops Look to Middle East Markets

Newspaper article The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)

100 Yen Shops Look to Middle East Markets

Article excerpt

DUBAI--An increasing number of Japanese retailers, including a chain of so-called 100 yen shops, have entered the markets of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle East countries.

Among parts of the Middle East where economic growth is continuing, Dubai has been especially remarkable in becoming a commercial hub city where internationalization has been rapidly progressing.

Many of the Japanese retailers have expanded their business in the Middle East with Dubai serving as their base.

The UAE is a federal state comprising seven emirates including Abu Dhabi, where its capital city is located, and Dubai. There are about 9 million people living in the UAE. The UAE faces the Persian Gulf and is on the Arabian Peninsula, supported by abundant petroleum resources. The livelihoods of its citizens are prosperous, and the political situation is stable.

Development in Dubai has been rapidly progressing for about 10 years as the city has become a hub of commercial and transportation businesses in the Middle East.

In Lamcy Plaza, a commercial facility in Dubai, the Daiso chain, which is known as an operator of 100 yen shops in Japan, runs a "7 dirham shop." Seven dirham is about 200. yen

Though the uniform price is higher than that in Japan, a teacher at a local school bought kitchen items and other goods, saying, "The price is reasonable. Because this shop has a lineup of many products and there are not similar shops, I have come here at least twice a month."

The shop is managed by a local company that signed a franchise contract with Daiso Sangyo Inc. based in Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, which operates the Daiso chain.

The first shop opened in Dubai in 2004 and three or four new shops have been opened every year. Now there are nearly 40 shops of the chain in the UAE and in nearby countries.

The chief operating officer of the local company aims to open more shops, saying, "Our shops' popularity is spreading because of an image that Japanese products are of high quality. …

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