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FamilyMart joins 10,000 outlets in Japan club

JIJI

Major Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. now has more than 10,000 domestic outlets.

FamilyMart is the third convenience store chain in Japan to reach the 10,000-store mark, following Japan’s largest convenience store chain, Seven-Eleven Japan Co., and the second-largest, Lawson Inc. FamilyMart opened its first store in 1973 in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture.

“This achievement is just a passing point,” FamilyMart President Isamu Nakayama said at a ceremony held Tuesday at the 10,000th store, which opened in Nakano Ward, Tokyo.

He said that as the FamilyMart name suggests, he hopes the chain will become popular with all people, including the elderly and women.

Convenience stores in Japan exceeded 50,000 in 2012. The market is said to be saturated, but Seven-Eleven and FamilyMart each plan to open 1,500 new stores in the current business year.

Major convenience store chains are trying to attract customers from other business categories amid intensifying competition. They have recently started focusing on the elderly and working women, with more frozen and prepared meals on offer.