Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No. 4: Five leading convenience store chains combined open more than 3,400 new stores next year (December 29, 2011)

The five leading convenience store chains, Seven-Eleven, Lawson, Family-Mart, Circle K, and Mini Stop combined will increase the number of new stores more than 20% over the previous year to more than 3,400 in 2012, achieving the record high net increase of mover than 1,800 stores. Shortage of goods in supermarkets caused by the earthquake on March 11 increased the number of female shoppers of convenience stores. The elderly that hesitates to shop around is also expected to shop at a convenience store more often than before.

Each of the five chains is trying to increase the presence in the market by introducing mobile stores in the disaster-stricken and sparsely-populated areas besides the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, by starting the delivery service of packed lunches, and by expanding the lineups of chilled products, prepared foods, and vegetables. According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the number of retailers decreased about 580,000 stores from 1982 to 2007 mainly because of the closures by aging shop owners. Convenience stores will have more business opportunities as they segmentalize the market. As Dr. Peter Drucker said, “Business is to create and keep a customer.”  

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