Lawson Inc. plans to allow some outlets to close during the New Year’s holiday period on a trial basis, said Sadanobu Takemasu, president and chief executive officer of the convenience store chain, in a recent interview.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, 102 stores across 25 prefectures will close for 1½ days or half a day, Takemasu said.

“We need to think flexibly depending on the circumstances of each store,” he said.

Based on the results of the trial, Lawson will decide whether to allow stores to close during future New Year’s holiday periods.

The move comes in response to requests from stores, including those located in business districts where customer traffic is very low on weekends and holidays.

Takemasu also said Lawson is aiming to reduce its volume of food waste by nearly 10 percent year on year in fiscal 2020.

Food waste has become a social issue, and puts a heavy burden on convenience stores forced to shoulder the cost of handling such waste.

“Reducing food waste is a great challenge for us,” Takemasu said.

Lawson plans to employ measures across the entire chain such as discounting prepared food that is cooked at stores to combat food waste.

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