/

Convenience stores take new tack with tie-ups, new food offerings

JIJI

Convenience store chains are launching new types of outlets to attract new customers and expand sales networks as competition increases.

FamilyMart Co. is adding more outlets paired with karaoke boxes, while Three-F Co. is setting up stores specializing in foodstuffs.

On Wednesday, FamilyMart opened an outlet combined with a Daiichikosho Co. karaoke facility in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, their third such tie-up. The Matsudo store is targeted at families because it has a room for kids, a spacious parking lot and offers a wide range of snacks, a FamilyMart spokesman said.

It their first collaboration in April, FamilyMart and Daiichikosho set up a convenience store next to a karaoke facility in Kamata in Tokyo’s Ota Ward. The number of karaoke customers visiting the outlet has grown 30 percent year on year since its debut, with sales up 10 percent, a Daiichikosho official said.

The two companies plan to open 30 collaborative stores over the next three years.

Three-F, which serves the Kanto region, is meanwhile boosting its gooz outlets, which feature food cooked on the premises.

The sixth gooz, which opened in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district last month, sells freshly baked bread, brown rice balls and coffee made from 12 kinds of beans. It also has an indoor dining space.

Three-F decided to focus on food and drink because customers in urban areas, where convenience stores are concentrated, are dissatisfied by ordinary convenience stores, a spokesman said.

The company plans to increase the number of gooz stores to 10 by the end of March.