Business / Corporate

Lawson chain set to raise age limit for hiring store managers to 65

Kyodo

Lawson Inc. plans to raise the age limit for hiring operations managers at its convenience stores from 55 to 65 on Tuesday to tap the expertise and experience of older people, company sources said.

With a growing number of elderly shopping at convenience stores, Lawson wants older operations managers selecting and displaying items, the sources said Sunday.

The measure is expected to give a boost to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic package known as “Abenomics,” which aims to make greater use of the talents and potential of elderly Japanese as well as women amid the declining birthrate.

Lawson, which aims to utilize the older managers in opening new stores as well, will also raise the maximum working age of operations managers to 75 years old, the sources said.

The chain had around 6,000 operations managers in charge of roughly 12,000 stores as of late August, with their average age at 54.5 years old. Of the total, about 20 percent were aged 65 and over.

Most major convenience store chains in Japan recruit operations managers through public application processes. The managers shoulder part of the expense of store openings, choose goods to sell and are also responsible for hiring and training part-time employees.

Among Lawson’s rivals, Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has set an age limit of 60 for people applying to become operations managers at its stores, while FamilyMart Co. completely scrapped its age limit of 55 in 2012.

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