Feb 11, 2012

SSG's Adventures in Daiso-Land.

There's only one place to go when it's Frugal February and a girl is in need of some retail therapy - Daiso's Sydney store in the Mandarin Centre, Chatswood.  There's only one price you need to remember and it is $2.80.

I spent close to 2 hours in Daiso today and the store certainly delivered on its promise of customers finding 'surprise and fun' the moment they enter one its stores around the world.

My Daiso trolley ready to go, coffee and all.
The Chatswood store has quite a large footprint for a discount store.  It feels Japanese from the moment you walk in the entrance and get your trolley (the baskets detach from the base).

Colour and cuteness greet you in every aisle, as do polite and cheerful messages.

Most of the product packaging is written in Japanese but there is plenty of signage to clear any confusion.

I spent quite a bit of time browsing the beauty products which probably took up at least a third of the store.  There was a whole aisle of different face washers and sponges.

As opposed to the aisle of facial massage products, also available in a rainbow of colours.

Can you imagine the possibilities if Daiso offered makeover sessions?  It would be lotion and potion plastic surgery.
Where do I start with the makeup?  There must have been at least one product to address every single one of your most pressing cosmetic concerns.  I wasn't game enough to try the nose shadow but I did pick up some blush and a mascara base that I will review in a separate post.  I was in two minds about buying the mascara that uncakes the mascara you already have on your lashes.  And then there was the false eyelash travel case....

In the fitness aisle there were badminton rackets and resistance tools in your choice of colour.

There were also the things discount stores all over the world are famous for - plastic storage containers. The lunch boxes range did have a Japanese twist to them with those clever lids containing a full set of cutlery.  For those of you keen on recreating the famous bento lunches of Japanese schoolchildren, there is a selection of creative sushi making tools.

Even shopping for kitchen sponges was fascinating.  There was such a wide range to choose from and then to decide on the colour that best matches your kitchen.

It goes without saying that I didn't leave empty handed.  I had a vague agreement with Mr SSG that I could only buy things that already needed to be replaced at home.  I mostly held up my end of the deal.

I bought two kinds of clothes pegs.  The standard kind I used to find at my local $2 stores.

And these blue four leaf clovers. The plastic feels pretty solid.  For the record, Daiso is a bit like Ikea in terms of country of manufacture.  While both stores aim to provide customers with Japanese and Swedish (accordingly) design, much of their range is actually made overseas.  Daiso's products appear to be made mainly in Taiwan (including the skin care I saw) or China.  It's the way of the world these days whether we like it or not.  I will tell you my feelings about Heinz Tomato Ketchup now being made in New Zealand another day.  I'm down to my last 2 bottles of the Australian made product.

These colanders were made in Japan.  You can never have too many colanders in a kitchen.  I think my mum might like these actually.  I will probably have to get some more for her and my Aunty when they come visit next week.  Any excuse to return to Daiso!

Can you tell it was a pink themed shopping day?  I hope my handbags have a gross weight of lead than 4kgs.

I went for the pink nail polish remover becuase experience tells me that the pink versions around the world are universally acetone free.

Blue appears to be the colour code for an aquamarine scent.  Rose, lavender, orange and apple were the other options - each with their own colour.
Surprise!  Just to be a little unpredictable, I bought a blue fragrance diffuser for the office.  You have no idea how many ways the Japanese have thought of to fragrance a room.  Whilst there didn't seem to be actual sprays, there were all sorts of perfumed beads, gels and emulsions with the sole purpose of scenting a room.  Products were further divided into those suitable for 'rooms' or 'bathrooms'.

There are exciting times in Sydney.  All sorts of interesting international stores appear to be opening here.  I like that more reasonably priced brands are entering the local retail sector because it makes going to bricks and mortar stores more interesting than it has been for the last few years.

Before I go, I have The Etail Queen herself to thank for giving me the heads up about Daiso Sydney.  There isn't a thing about etail or retail she doesn't cover in her blog.

Have a lovely evening and I will be back again soon.


  1. Oh I love this store! it reminds me of Japan so much - there's a store out in the city too. 

  2. You're welcome SSG, you're right it's perfect for Frugal February!

    I wasn't game enough to buy any of the cosmetics from Daiso, I'm looking forward to your review.

  3. I would love to go shopping there - ti looks like it would be such fun to browse! Love your purchases :)


  4. I love the huge variety of plastic storage containers and baskets at Daiso. Look fwd to yr review on the beauty products. Haven't been game to try since I can read the info on the pack. 

  5. There is!?!?!   Thanks for that, Jen.

    SSG xxx

  6. I'm a bit nervous now regarding the make up....  Never mind.  I will post a review next week.  Just as well all my photos are headless, just in case.

    SSG xxx

  7. Oooh, this makes me miss shopping in Japan!! So many cute and quirky things to brighten things up! In regards to make up, and I have no idea really...but I once bought the most amazing roll up eye liner in Japan, as you rolled up more eyeliner stick (like those roll up crayons the cool kids had in year one!) it actually sharpened the tip for you! Amazing. Hopefully your experience with Daiso make up will be positive!

  8. What a great store, so much to choose from. Looks like fun...

  9. So, completely, fun. Chipper even.

  10. I have always wanted to visit a Daiso store, and your post just made me even keener! It is definitely #1 on my list next time I visit Syd or Melb!!!

  11. I want to go to Daiso! I could easily spend hours in there....


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