Retailer Seven & I Holdings Co. welcomed 1,180 new employees to 15 group companies in a ceremony Thursday ahead of the start of the new fiscal year in April.
Chairman Toshifumi Suzuki greeted the new hires at a Tokyo hotel.
“I hope you will be sensitive to the needs of consumers and changes in the world,” he said, urging the newcomers to work with strong determination ahead of the first stage of the consumption tax hike in April 2014.
The 15 group companies include convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co., retail chain Ito-Yokado Co. and department store Sogo & Seibu Co.
The number of employees rose from 778 the previous year, partly reflecting Seven-Eleven Japan’s ambitious expansion plans in the business year to next February. Seven-Eleven Japan alone hired a record 556 new employees, up from 323 the previous year.