Daiso Japan, a rapidly growing value store, announced the grand opening of its Arlington, Texas franchise to be held this month. The Daiso Arlington store is the fifth to open in Texas after Carrollton, Irving, Plano, and Fort Worth.
Daiso is a dollar store with products ranging from kitchenware, beauty supplies, stationery, and wrapping paper to electronic accessories and other daily sundries. After opening its first US store in Seattle in 2005, Daiso now has over 60 stores across the United States, with 6 stores in Washington and 41 in California.
Daiso is planning to expand its market and open 150 stores in the United States, of which 50 are coming to Texas. Yoshi Murata, Vice President of Daiso, said that the company chose Texas because of its growing economy and friendly people. Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston are in line for 10 to 12 stores each in the next 18 months, with the remainder slated for Austin, San Antonio, and other retail hotspots.
As the second largest state in the United States by both population and GDP, Texas has significant trade relations with Japan. The country was the third largest export destination for Texas in 2015, with goods exports including organic chemicals, mineral fuel and oil, industrial machinery, electric machinery, and air and space craft parts valuing $5 billion. Texas also imported $6.35 billion of Japanese goods in 2015, including industrial machinery, electric machinery, iron and steel products, vehicles, clocks, and watches. In 2014, more than 400 Japanese companies operated in Texas, creating 47,900 jobs in the state.
In addition, Texas has worked closely with Japan to combat climate change. In 2014, Japan was Texas’s 4th largest source for foreign direct investment projects, and many were environmentally-oriented. In August 2016, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) — Japan’s largest semi-governmental R&D organization — provided $13 million in fundingfor the University of Texas at Austin to improve energy efficiency in the state’s data centers and facilities.
Xiaoyi Wang is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington, D.C. and a graduate student at Georgetown University.