FamilyMart Co. says it will reduce its pace of expansion in China, attributing the move to the country’s slowing economy and not the recent problems in Sino-Japanese relations.
The convenience store chain said Thursday it will open 1,161 outlets in China by the end of February, down from 1,227. The company had 813 stores in China as of the end of February.
It has not modified its plan to increase the number of stores to 4,500 by the end of February 2016.
FamilyMart temporarily suspended operations at four outlets in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, due to anti-Japanese riots. The stores have since resumed business. It said it has not noticed any decline in sales.
Meanwhile, Japan’s three major convenience store chains all logged record parent-only March-August operating profits, luring domestic shoppers away from supermarkets.
Seven-Eleven Japan Co., a unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., posted a first-half operating profit of more than ¥100 billion for the first time.
Lawson Inc. scored a record first-half operating profit for the sixth straight year.
Fresh food such as milk, bread and precut vegetables, as well as side dishes, helped attract women and elderly customers, who traditionally shop at supermarkets. Efforts to expand their lineups of private-brand items, which have high profit margins, also pushed up profits, while more store openings raised sales.