7-Eleven plans to open 200 stores in Okinawa
7-Eleven Japan, the largest convenience store chain in the nation, is scheduled to expand their business to Okinawa, the only prefecture the chain is not present.
According to the published plans, 7-Eleven will open more than 200 stores in the prefecture by February 2019 at the latest. In addition to th large number of stores, the company plans to establish local factories to prepare lunchboxes and side dishes for the shops. Company officials point out that a 200-store level business would be enough to break even in operating the factories.
Kazuki Furuya, the CEO of 7-Eleven Japan, said in an interview by a local daily, “Okinawa has a fast food culture, so I expect us to do well here.” Furuya also showed his idea of arranging eat-in corners in 7-Eleven stores in Okinawa.
Currently, Okinawa FamilyMart has more than 300 stores here and Lawson Okinawa has exceeded 200 stores last year, and it’s expected that the competition to intensify after the entry of 7-Eleven.
The Public Relations Department of Seven & i-Holdings stated, “As Okinawa is comprised of remote islands where we can’t procure products from neighboring prefectures, we will expand our business by creating a local supply network to collect source raw-materials to be made for sale. We have plans for s number of stores, although the plan may change is the circumstances warrant.”