$2 storage boxes to be $4.07? Snaking queues at Daiso as shoppers grab last-minute items ahead of May 1 price hike

Customers in queue to make payment at Daiso's Plaza Singapura outlet, on April 28, 2022.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A long queue of close to 80 people was seen at the Plaza Singapura outlet of Japanese retail chain Daiso on Thursday (April 28) ahead of a price hike from Sunday (May 1).

The chain has been offering products such as stationery, snacks and homeware at a flat price of $2 since 2003.

From Sunday, prices will follow a colour-coded tier ranging from $2.14 to $25.47.

Housewife Sheila Begum, 35, heard of the price hike online and decided do some shopping.

"I wanted to avoid the weekend crowd, but seems like a lot of other people had the same idea," the mother of two said.

She frequents the Japanese chain a few times a month as she loves collecting trinkets. She was in queue waiting to pay for some ceramic bowls, snacks and figurines.

She said: "I will continue to shop here of course, but I wanted to stretch my dollar while I still can."

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The queue at the Plaza Singapura outlet was at its peak when The Straits Times visited during lunchtime. It extended past the cashier area and spilled over to shopping aisles around the store, making it hard for shoppers to move around.

Although the queue was long, shoppers waited for an average of around 15 minutes for payment as five counters were open.

Pre-school teacher Chua Xinyi, 26, said that she goes to Daiso to buy teaching materials such as mini whiteboards, chalk and coloured markers.

"I think it's understandable that they had to hike their prices because they are increasing almost everywhere. I'd rather they adjust their prices than close their shops," she said.

Although she knew the price hike for some products would be just 14 cents, she was not sure which other products would cost more than that from Sunday.

"I saw some videos online that certain items like storage boxes that usually cost $2 would now be $4.07. I didn't know what else would be different so I wanted to come down to have a look," she said.

From Sunday, prices will follow a colour-coded tier ranging from $2.14 to $25.47. PHOTO: DAISO

Ms Chua said that if the hiked price for her usual purchases are too high, she might consider buying the items from other shops to save money.

Retired shop assistant Janice Teo, 62, was one customer who stocked up on plastic storage boxes. She said she uses the boxes to store her beads, as she enjoys making beaded jewellery as a pastime.

She said her niece had showed her a TikTok video that said the boxes would cost twice the price they do now - $4.07.

Said Madam Teo: "I used to come here because it was cheap and convenient, but I think I can find some things, like these plastic containers, cheaper at neighbourhood shops."

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.