In the nearly half century since Japan got its first 7-Eleven near Tokyo Bay, such convenience stores have become ubiquitous, with customers dropping by not only for drinks and snacks but also for financial services, package deliveries and much more.

But in recent years, the domestic convenience store market has become saturated, with competition heating up, prompting operators to seek more attractive products. A labor shortage has also become a serious problem, leading some stores to give up 24-hour operations and introduce unmanned cash registers to keep up with the changing times.

What is now Seven-Eleven Japan Co. was established in November 1973, and its first store in the country opened in the capital's Toyosu district in May 1974 following a licensing agreement with Southland Corp., the U.S.-based operator of the brand.