Hirotake Yano, the Japanese billionaire founder of Daiso Industries has died of heart failure at the age of 80.

He passed away in Hiroshima on Feb 12, the company said in a statement on Monday. Close family members held a private funeral and a commemoration will be organised, it said.

Yano’s net worth was about $1.9 billion at the time of his death, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

After graduating from Tokyo’s Chuo University in 1967, Yano worked different jobs before he founded a small shop about five years later selling products for 100 yen, which was then equivalent to about 30 cents, according to Daiso.

He incorporated the company in 1977, naming it Daiso, which translates to “creating something big.”

Daiso has grown into a retail empire, with over 4,360 stores across Japan and more than 990 overseas stores by the end of 2023, according to its website.

In Malaysia, the store sells all sorts of knickknacks and household goods, including stationery and snacks, for mostly for RM5.90.

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