Yamazaki co-op shops get new role

Kyodo

Yamazaki Baking Co. plans to turn more than 100 shops run by agricultural cooperatives across Japan into small convenience stores in the next two to three years, sources said.

The leading bread maker is set to work with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations on converting farm stands and shops of regional farm cooperatives into Yamazaki Shop outlets, which will be run by the cooperatives, the sources said Monday.

Yamazaki Baking has so far turned more than 30 farm cooperative shops into convenience stores through negotiations with regional co-op groups, but it now plans to embark on a larger-scale relationship with the nationwide co-op organization, they said.

The move brings together the cooperatives’ wish to improve the performance of their shops by offering a wider variety of products other than farm produce.