Japanese retailer replaces Kirkland’s

The building of the former Kirkland's Home, located at 4043 S. Mooney Blvd, where Daiso is soon to debut.(Rigo Moran)

Daiso, the dollar store of Japan, will open its first Valley location on Mooney Boulevard this fall after Kirkland’s continues to close stores across the nation

VISALIA – A popular Japanese discount retailer is opening its first location in the Valley this fall.

That’s when Daiso will open next to Lane Bryant in the Packwood Creek shopping center on Mooney Boulevard. The store’s motto is “Making the lives of people around the world richer at a single, low price.” Daiso is a retail chain, known for its large array of “unique and affordable” products across various categories such as Japanese-inspired household goods.

The company started as a street vending shop with products at or below 100 Yen. That’s about 65 cents in US dollars making it the equivalent of the “Dollar” stores dominating the retail landscape in America. The company is owned by Daiso Global, which owns other brands equivalent to 98 cent stores and affordable department stores like Kmart. There are about 3,813 Daiso locations in Japan and 990 stores overseas including 100 in the United States.

The company was established in 1977 and opened its first US location in Seattle in 2005 and its first California location in San Francisco in 2006, according to daiso-sangyo.co.jp. This would be the first store in the Valley with all other California outlets in Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Daiso has 65 stores in California, with the nearest locations in Santa Clarita and Alamitos.

The building is where the home décor and furniture retailer Kirkland’s Home was. The foreign-based retailer will replace Kirkland’s Home, which closed its Visalia store at 4043 S. Mooney Blvd last week. Kirkland’s closed 16 stores last year, including nine in the fourth quarter.

“Fiscal 2023 was a year of significant change across our entire organization that culminated in a positive holiday sales season and healthy momentum to build off of going into 2024,” said Amy Sullivan, CEO of Kirkland’s Home. “The fourth quarter marked our first full quarter of capitalizing on the strategic repositioning initiatives we’ve implemented, which generated positive comparable sales results, strong gross margins and healthy operating cash flow. Although we remain in the early stages of our strategic repositioning, we are pleased with the results we were able to generate to close out the year.”

The closures helped the company boost its fourth-quarter revenue by $13.9 million but still resulted in an operating loss of $24.4 million for the year. That was nearly half of its operating loss of $42.8 million in 2022. The home décor and furniture store may continue to close stores as it transitions from higher priced items, which has seen a drop in demand, to higher demand for seasonal décor and accessories.

“Overall, we are pleased with the direction Kirkland’s Home is headed, and we believe there are opportunities for us to capitalize on and return to profitable growth,” Sullivan said in a released statement. “With additional capital to improve our liquidity position, a strategy that is generating positive momentum, and a nimble team in place focused on operational excellence, we believe we are well positioned heading into fiscal 2024 and beyond. We remain committed to achieving our long-term strategic goals and unlocking the true potential of Kirkland’s Home.”

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