Billionaire owner of discount chain Daiso dead

By Phien An   February 20, 2024 | 08:39 pm PT
Billionaire owner of discount chain Daiso dead
Billionaire founder of Daiso Hirotake Yano. Photo by EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Hirotake Yano, the founder of global retail chain Daiso, has died at 80 of heart failure.

He died on Feb. 12, the company said in a statement Monday, adding that close family members held a private funeral and a commemoration would be organized.

Yano, after graduating from Chuo University in Tokyo in 1967, managed his father-in-law's fishing company but it went bankrupt.

In 1972, while in his late 20s, he opened a retail company called Yano Shoten and in 1977 changed its name to Daiso.

The store sold products at 100 yen (which was then equivalent to 30 U.S. cents) apiece and soon became successful.

Yano was in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with total assets of $1.9 billion at the time of his passing.

Daiso sells around 76,000 items, adding hundreds more every month, mostly household and stationery products at under $1 apiece.

Vietnam has nine Daiso stores in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Phu Quoc that sell products costing a maximum of VND40,000 ($1.63).

There were 4,360 Daiso stores in Japan at the end of last year and 990 in other countries.

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