7-Eleven convenience store chain poised to enter Okinawa
7-Eleven, an international convenience store chain with over 59,000 company operated, franchised and licensed stores in 17 countries, is the largest convenience store chain in Japan with 18, 600 of the stores in every prefecture except Okinawa.
Over the years there have been rumors and even media reports of the company’s possible entry to Okinawa, all of which have turned out to be false. Now, according to reports on Jun. 28, the 7-Eleven is negotiating again with possible partners and suppliers in Okinawa. The opening of first Okinawa stores could be possible within two to three years.
According to reports, officials from 7-Eleven have been in contact with Okinawan companies involved in retail, logistics, and producing daily foods.
A spokesman for the 7-Eleven admits the company has been in contact with a number of companies on Okinawa about producing fresh daily meals, but adds that, as the negotiations are still going on and nothing has been decided, they don’t haven anything more to say.
Seven Eleven opened a store in Tottori Prefecture last October, leaving Okinawa as the only prefecture without their presence.
In Okinawa, FamilyMart and Lawson are the dominating convenience store chains. They are currently working hard to expand their business in Japan by seeking new partners to collaborate in new kind of services. There are 269 FamilyMart stores and 191 Lawsons on Okinawa, and the possible entry of 7-Eleven into Okinawa is sure to hold a few feet to the fire in the planning sections of the two existing chains here.