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Seven-Eleven plans record openings

Convenience store chain Seven-Eleven plans to open a record number of outlets across Japan.

The company says it will open 1500 new stores in Japan by February 2014, 150 more than its earlier target of 1350 stores. The additional stores will bring the total number to more than 15,600 in Japan.

Seven-Eleven’s plans contrasts the approach of arch rival Lawson which last week announced a ramping up of its Hawaii roll-out, observing the Japanese market was reaching saturation point. 

“Although we are still growing in the Japanese market, the convenience store (sector) is coming to saturation in Japan, therefore we have to look at the market outside Japan,” said Makoto Oe, Lawson’s senior manager of international business.

Seven-Eleven says its new stores are directed at urban cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, as well areas with scarce presence like Kagoshima and Akita prefectures. First store openings in Shikoku and Aomori prefectures are also being planned.

As at February this year, Seven-Eleven Japan operated stores in 39 of 47 prefectures in Japan.

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