Tag Archives for " Convenience Stores "

Nov 02

Convenience stores aiming to be default for online delivery

Japan’s network of 55,000 convenience stores, 80% of them run by just three companies, is an ideal delivery system for online sales. The growth in online retailing in general is a tremendous opportunity for domestic and overseas brands alike, with expanded market access and lower cost distribution options of particular interest to overseas firms. The […]

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Jul 14

FOCUS: Retail Industry Performance FY2014: solid results for many as distribution evolution continues

Retail results for FY2014 show just how well corporate retailing weathered the impact of the consumption tax increase in April 2014. Market share for the largest companies continues to grow, as does the percentage of sales taken up by private brands, but dynamism is also reflected in the emergence of new success stories. These are […]

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Jul 14

Convenience store sales up 1.6% in May with innovations across sector

While GMS chains are still larger by sales volume, convenience stores continue to make the greatest progress in the FMCG sector. Last month saw a range of announcements of yet more sales growth, new private brands, and other marketing initiatives. Lawson: Year on Year Same Store Sales Change by Sub-Format, 2014-15 The Japan Franchise Chain […]

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Jun 14

Conbini coffee hits 1.9 billion cups

Japanese consumers have fallen in love with convenience store coffee and are drinking it by the litre. This is the latest example that proves how well convenience stores understand their market and the opportunities that exist if suppliers can bring the right product to the table. No other sales channel is as powerful as convenience […]

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May 15

2014 Calendar Year Results: Leading chains make progress in difficult year

Calendar year results for the three big format sectors, department stores, GMS and supermarket chains, and convenience stores, provide a quick hint of what to expect from results at the end of the financial year. Although 2014 was a difficult year given the increase in prices from tax hikes and higher cost imports, on the […]

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May 15

Healthcare at convenience stores

Convenience stores are determined to become the hub of Japanese life, both selling essential goods but also a vast range of services, as well as becoming the local depots for online orders. The latest idea is to turn your local conbini into a quasi medical clinic, offering basic medical tests and products, particularly those targeting […]

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May 15

Lawson ties with Sagawa to compete with Seven & I and Amazon

Lawson and Sagawa are launching a new joint venture next month that will eventually see Sagawa take over delivery services for 12,000 Lawson stores across the country. Even more significant, Sagawa will use the stores as small depots for its existing parcel delivery service, as well as delivering orders from stores direct to customers’ doors. […]

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May 15

80% of retailers expecting increased profits in FY2015

While FY2014 was a complicated year for many retailers, the majority of publicly traded firms are optimistic about the next 12 months. Most leading retailers are expecting to report improved profits. Such confident forecasts reflect the fact that sales at the best retailers remain strong despite issues with the consumer economy as a whole, and […]

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Apr 15

Itochu to buld new food empire by merging Familymart with Uny

As predicted for some time, Itochu has brokered merger talks between Familymart and Circle K Sunkus (CKS). As if the possibility of a merger between the number three and number four convenience stores wasn’t tantalising enough, Familymart may go all the way and merge with Uny, CKS’s parent company. Negotiations are ongoing, but failing a […]

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Feb 15

Lawson ties with Tsuruha, but pulls back on supermarkets

In the past month, Lawson has confirmed a new deal with Tsuruha, the number three drugstore chain, but announced a surprise retreat in supermarkets. Tsuruha will become a corporate franchisee, using Lawson‘s know-how and convenience store supply system to develop hybrid stores. At the same time, Lawson will close round 260 Lawson 100 and Lawson […]

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Jan 15

Seven & I seeks more suppliers for fast expanding own brand lines

Sales of Seven & I private brands already exceed ¥700 billion a year. The company is now expanding the number of lines dual branded with major manufacturers, ranging from apparel to food and across its empire from convenience stores to Sogo Seibu. This seems like a win-win situation, giving Seven & I access to well-established […]

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Dec 15

Seven Eleven: the donut issue

Seven Eleven began the rollout of new counter displays selling six flavours of donut last month. Although seemingly very minor news, this is so much more than just the latest merchandising idea from the country’s largest retail chain. The new idea not only complements the massively successful ‘counter coffee’ introduced last year, it also shows […]

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Nov 15

Convenience Stores: and then there were three

Convenience stores seem to go from strength to strength. This year will set another new record for the number of new stores added to the three largest chains alone – and these three already account for some 75% of the entire market. With saturation point reached, the sector is now looking to the next step, […]

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Oct 15

Lawson to acquire Seijo Ishii

Lawson will add its second major acquisition for the year this month, taking over leading upscale supermarket chain Seijo Ishii. The supermarket has been managed by a Mitsubishi-backed investment fund for several years, and it is no surprise that Mitsubishi’s convenience store subsidiary should want to add another supermarket banner to its portfolio, although Isetan-Mitsukoshi […]

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Oct 15

Familymart looking for cross-business deals

With Seven Eleven and Lawson adding around 1,000 new stores a year, and Lawson rapidly diversifying out of uniform convenience store retailing overall, number three chain Familymart is fighting to keep pace. With all three chains going after similar locations for their new stores, Familymart is losing out. To make up for this it is […]

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Jul 15

FOCUS: Sales peak or new beginning? Retail results FY2013

FY2013 retail results were heavily influenced by both renewed consumer confidence and increased spending spurred by the pending tax increase, but they also represent a new benchmark for the industry. Whereas a decade ago, the high performing retailers stood out as the exceptions, last year the opposite was true, with just a small number of […]

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Jul 15

Lawson to expand drugstores

Lawson is set to expand its directly operated drugstore business. With all major convenience store players expanding into the same area, Lawson will add both more franchise partners from existing drugstore chains and convert around 500 of its own convenience stores to drugstores, as well as open new, directly operated Lawson Drug outlets. Lawson, the […]

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Jun 15

Small city supermarkets: the latest food format begins to take-off

Convenience store expansion has passed its peak and retailers are looking for new solutions for small footprint food retailing. The number of c-stores exceeded 50,000 in November, reaching 50,890 stores in February and then dropping in March. With the exception of sector leader Seven Eleven, all the major chains, along with various supermarkets (see Page […]

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Jun 15

April and May retail sales steady

Retail sales fell in April as expected, and by marginally more than in 1997, but the industry still performed well and the extreme decline feared by many did not happen. Indeed, many chains were reporting that sales were back to levels seen in 2013 by the end of the month and others were already back […]

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Apr 15

Sunkus loses another 100 stores

Circle K Sunkus is looking increasingly shaky. Owned by Uny Group, the chain used area franchises to expand rapidly in the 1990s, giving branding rights to companies with geographical exclusivity. Many of these contracts are now coming to an end and a growing number of franchisees are switching allegiance to one of the larger players. […]

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