Ministop plans Kazakhstan shops


Ministop Co. said Wednesday that by the end of this year it will become the first Japanese company to open a convenience store in Kazakhstan.

It plans to eventually set up a chain of around 10 outlets in the nation’s largest city, Almaty, in cooperation with transport firm Senko Co.

Ministop said it sees the Central Asian country, rich in oil and minerals, as a promising market.

The Chiba Prefecture-based firm also believes the convenience store business can grow there because of the high proportion of young people.

Ministop, Senko and Kazakh partner RTS, an affiliate of the local Lancaster Group conglomerate, plan to form a joint venture in May to launch the convenience stores.

As of the end of February, Ministop ran 2,105 stores in Japan and 2,071 in South Korea, the Philippines, China and Vietnam.