Seven-Eleven stores top 15,000

Kyodo

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. opened almost 90 new outlets Thursday, pushing the convenience store chain past the 15,000-store mark for the first time for any Japanese retailer.

The chain, a unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., now has 15,072 stores after opening 89 shops in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas.

On Friday, it will open its first shops in Shikoku, targeting Tokushima and Kagawa prefectures.

The firm plans to extend its reach to the two other Shikoku prefectures, Ehime and Kochi, around March 2014 and March 2016.

Seven-Eleven said it will open a combined 570 shops in the four Shikoku prefectures by February 2019.

Keen on increasing its presence abroad, the retailer is planning to run a total of 50,000 shops in Japan and overseas by the end of March from 49,656 at the end of January.

It has franchises in 16 economies, including the United States, South Korea, Thailand, China, Australia, Singapore, Sweden and Norway.

The first Seven-Eleven outlet in Japan opened in Koto Ward, Tokyo, in 1974.

The operator is projecting ¥3.52 trillion in sales in the year ending March 31. Sales per shop are estimated at ¥670,000 a day, it said.