Date
25 September 2017
Japan Home Centre has reintroduced the "ten dollar" shopping area in 30 outlets across the territory. Photo: Internet
Japan Home Centre has reintroduced the "ten dollar" shopping area in 30 outlets across the territory. Photo: Internet

Ten dollar shops return amid cheap yen

The slump in the Japanese yen has made traveling to Japan more appealing.

But those who can’t go there need not fret. They could also take advantage of the weak currency right here in Hong Kong, and that’s because the “ten dollar shop” is making a comeback.

Houseware products retailer Japan Home Centre has reintroduced the “ten dollar” shopping area in 30 outlets across the territory, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Customers can buy three items for HK$29.9 (US$3.8) in the designated area. The chain will soon extend the HK$10 offerings to all its 255 outlets in the city.

Ngai Lai-ha, executive director and vice chairman of International Housewares Retail (01373.HK), the parent company of Japan Home Centre, said the depreciating yen has allowed the group to sell items at the Ichiban Merchandise area at lower than HK$10 each on average, making them cheaper than 20 years ago.

Although Japan Home Centre was the first to introduce the “ten dollar shop” concept in Hong Kong more than a decade ago, other retailers such as Living PLAZA under Aeon Stores (00984.HK) and 759 Stores under CEC International (00759.HK) have entered the affordable houseware market in recent years.

While the cost of goods sourced from Japan is cheaper, rents remain a big challenge, especially in prime locations. To ease the cost burden, Japan Home Centre expanded its network into MTR stations for the first time last month.

The group now operates three stores within the metro rail system, namely at the Kowloon, Tsing Yi and Siu Hong stations.

Lau Tat-chi, the group’s business development director, is satisfied with both the foot traffic and rents at the new stores.

“It is impossible for us to open a store inside Elements (an upmarket shopping mall above the Kowloon Station), but as we have an outlet inside the Kowloon station now, we are able to serve customers in the area,” Apple Daily quoted Lau saying.

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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