7-Eleven to open stores in Okinawa from 2018
The largest convenience store chain in Japan, 7-Eleven, is planning to open its first stores in Okinawa in 2018 with the aim to increase the number of 7-Eleven stores in the prefecture to 300 in total.
The company aims to gain a certain volume of market share to enhance the efficiency of its logistic systems as well as penetrate the brand recognition in the Okinawa market. Okinawa FamilyMart and Lawson, the two chains that dominate the market here, have currently 460 stores in the prefecture as of February. Market analysts predict that the newcomer will make the competition much more intense.
7-Eleven aims to reach a 35% market share of nationwide, which means they need to have at least 300 stores in Okinawa.
Their special “dominanting strategy” of opening stores in a certain area within a short period of time to benefit from their efficient logistic system and to help penetrate the brand within that market, has enabled 7-Eleven to strengthen its market share. They are expected to do the same in Okinawa.
As of the end of February, Okinawa FamilyMart had 269 stores, which will increase to about 300 because of it absorbed the Coco!Store chain at the end of last year.
Lawson Okinawa had 191 stores in the prefecture as of the end of February, and it aims to increase the number to over 200 stores in the near future.
If 7-Eleven opens 300 stores here, it will become the largest convenience store chain in Okinawa.