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Taiwan convenience store boom

Taiwan convenience store sales are expected to hit a record US$9.52 billion in 2015 according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.

So fast is the growth, Taiwan’s convenience store network now has the highest density of any country in the world: overtaking even Japan.

Taiwan’s c-store population rose from 9958 in 2013 to 10,131 at the end of last year, which equates to one store per 2300 people, compared with one per 2450 in Japan.

The boom has been fuelled by an ongoing expansion of c-stores’ core lines, and diversification into services, such as bill paying, transportation tickets, phone top-ups and event ticketing.

In 2014, Taiwan convenience stores achieved net sales of NT$289.2 billion, up by 4.8 per cent year-on-year. In 2013, the figure was NT$276.1 billion, 3.1 per cent higher than the previous year. Next year’s sales will top NT300 billion, a further 3.73 per cent increase.

The ministry started compiling commercial sales data in 1999, and has tracked steady increases every year since.

Taiwan convenience stores now account for 26.1 per cent of Taiwan’s total retail sales, up from 20 per cent in 1999.

Department stores continue to account for the largest share of the nation’s retail sales – 27.7 per cent. But with the gap now so narrow, c-stores could well become the top retail category in 2015.

Hypermarkets take third spot, with 15.9 per cent of the retail market, supermarket’s 15.1 per cent, the ministry’s data revealed.

While the range of products and services offered by Taiwan convenience stores continues to grow, food and beverages still account for the vast majority of sales – 87.8 per cent by value in 2014.


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