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Fitness to go: FamilyMart to launch 24-hour gyms at convenience stores

JIJI

FamilyMart Co. will start a 24-hour fitness gym business to tap consumers’ growing interest in fitness, the major convenience store chain said.

Over the next five years, it aims to open 300 gyms on the second floors of FamilyMart stores and other locations, the company said Thursday. The first will open in Tokyo’s Ota Ward in mid-February.

The Fit & Go gyms will have treadmills and showers, along with staff dedicated to the new fitness business. Since no staff will be on hand late at night or early in the morning, however, the company will offer smartphone apps to teach customers how to train.

Convenience stores are seeing patronage stall in the face of intensifying competition from drug stores and other retailers.

Last week, FamilyMart announced a plan to install coin-operated laundry machines at some of its stores to attract more customers by diversifying its services.