Seven-Eleven Japan Co. will in August begin opening around 40 outlets at Shikoku Railway Co. train stations, sources familiar with the matter said Friday. The expansion will take about three years to complete.

JR Shikoku, which serves the island it is named after, will convert existing kiosks and shops inside station facilities into Seven-Eleven outlets, the sources said.

The deal will make JR Shikoku the fifth railway company to invite Seven-Eleven onto its network, following a similar move by West Japan Railway Co. in March.

The trend has accelerated in recent years as railway companies came to recognize they lacked product placement skills and asked convenience store operators to take over the management of outlets in high-traffic locations on station premises.