Seven & I adopts ¥1 trillion goal for doubling sales of private products

JIJI

Seven & I Holdings Co. will aim to almost double sales of its private brand products to ¥1 trillion in fiscal 2015, company officials said Friday.

To achieve the goal, the retail giant will expand the lineup of higher-priced delicatessen items and vegetables targeting singles and elderly people, they said.

The Seven & I group’s private brand sales in fiscal 2012 are estimated to total ¥490 billion, up 16.7 percent from the previous year.

The company aims to raise the share of private brand sales in the group’s overall sales to 14-15 percent in fiscal 2015 from some 8 percent at present, they added.

Seven & I will increase the number of products under its Seven Gold high-quality private brand to some 300 in fiscal 2015 from the current 11, the officials said, adding that it will also expand the lineup of goods under its cheaper Seven Premium brand.

FamilyMart to launch grocery delivery services for elderly

JIJI

Convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. will start a grocery delivery service for the elderly next week.

The service, which will include 45 kinds of food and daily items ranging from tofu and bread to milk, detergent and toilet paper, will begin at a FamilyMart in Kagoshima on Wednesday.

The company said Thursday it will launch the service in Tokyo, Kobe, Okayama and Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, by the end of the year, and plans to expand coverage to 3,000 stores within three years and nationwide in five.

The service will use a network run by Senior Life Create Co., a FamilyMart subsidiary that delivers meals to the elderly.

The move comes as convenience stores race to strengthen businesses focused on the elderly. Rival Seven-Eleven Japan Co., a Seven & I Holdings Co. unit, already offers home delivery.

Ex-McDonald’s chief Alvarez to fill in as Skylark chairman

Kyodo

Restaurant chain Skylark Co. said Friday that former McDonald’s Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Ralph Alvarez will become its chairman with representative rights on Jan. 1.

The post has been vacant since former Chairman and President Kiwamu Yokokawa was dismissed over the company’s sluggish performance in August 2008.

Skylark wants to capitalize on the business expertise of Alvarez, 57, to prop up its operations and strengthen its overseas presence.

He will work around 15 days each month with President Makoto Tani in Japan while serving as an executive at other firms, including major pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly and Co.

Alvarez, who hails from Cuba, was McDonald’s president and COO between 2006 and 2009 and has worked for several major U.S. hamburger chains.