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American manufacturer and distributor Avery Dennison has announced that it will work with the Japanese government to drive RFID technology roll-out in convenience stores across Japan.

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FamilyMart plans to open an additional 300 stores across Malaysia. 

Room for growth in convenience channel

QL Resources, the operator of FamilyMart Malaysia, has reaffirmed its plans to open an additional 300 stores in Malaysia. The retailer opened 30 stores in the country during the previous financial year and another 90 stores in this financial year, ending 31 March 2019.

Chia Song Kun, chairman of QL Resources said, "we still stick to our plan to open 300 stores in five years."

Driven by increasing demand...

Though there is a healthy concentration of convenience stores in Kuala Lumpur and the greater Klang Valley area, penetration in the rest of the country remains low. With only 7-Eleven and MyNews as the other major players in this channel, FamilyMart Malaysia sees positive growth opportunities, driven mainly by domestic demand.

Find out more information about FamilyMart here.

 

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FamilyMart is launching a discount meals program in over 2,000 stores across Japan.

FamilyMart children's restaurant

Famima Kodomo Shokudo (FamilyMart children’s restaurant) aims to support low-income families with discounted meals. The new initiative will allow children and their parents access to meals, desserts and beverages at prices of JPY100 (US$0.9) for elementary school pupils, and JPY400 (US$3.7) for high school students or older. To qualify, they will need to attend a session from the program at a participating store each time. About 10 people can participate in the standard one-hour session, which consists of an orientation, meals and activities.

Positive feedback leading to roll-out

FamilyMart previously tested the program at five stores in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures. After receiving positive feedback from participants, it has decided to roll-out the initiative to over 2,000 stores from next month.

 

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FamilyMart has launched its first laundry-convenience store in the Sanchong District of New Taipei, Taiwan.

A multipurpose convenience store

FamilyMart's new laundry convenience store, which opened last month, operates approx. 140 sq m. The store is fitted with five all-in-one washer-dryers, a service support/payment counter, an area for daily consumables, cigarettes, and more. The retailer plans to open ten more stores of this concept within the next year, with commercial districts that have a high percentage of renters an area of focus.

Smart laundrette and mobile notifications...

For greater convenience, customers can access real-time information about service availability using the FamilyMart app. They also have the option to receive a SMS notifications five minutes prior to the end of their laundry cycle. Prices range between NT$190 (US$6,2) and NT$220 (US$7.2) based on the service. Customer can also choose from 30 different methods of payment.

Competitive convenience landscape

FamilyMart continues to test new store concepts and initiatives. Its futuristic store, which we highlighted as one of The top 17 stores to visit in Asia in 2019 is an excellent example. We have seen FamilyMart in Japan move towards a similar direction, installing laundry machines to support shoppers' wider needs albeit in mainly existing convenience stores.

Taiwan's convenience landscape is highly competitive. Retailers are launching multipurpose stores to meet lifestyle needs in addition to stocking basic food and drink. This is beginning to extend further than just paying bills, buying train tickets and picking up online deliveries, and into pharmaceutical, leisure (gym) and beauty.

Lionel Desclée has been appointed as the new CEO at Seiyu, one of the largest supermarket chains in Japan.

New Seiyu CEO from 15th March

From 15th March, Lionel Desclée will takes over from Mitch Slape (interim CEO) as the new CEO of Seiyu. Desclée left management of Tom & Co earlier this year, but he remains a shareholder and member of the board. Walmart invested in Seiyu back in 2002, before taking over in 2005. Last year, there were rumours that Walmart was planning to sell Seiyu, but the retailer later confirmed that it did not enter any discussions with buyers.

Large formats face tough competition

There are more than 300 Seiyu supermarkets in Japan, twice as many stores as Seven & i's Ito-Yokado. However, large format operators are facing increasing pressures, both in profitability and competition from online retailers and shoppers' increasing preference to shop at local convenience outlets and drugstores. In response, Walmart partnered Rakuten to launch a new online grocery service last year. The retailer is also shifting away from the large format store concept to more of a 'discount' supermarket, offering food and consumables. 

This in-depth guide to Japan explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Datacentre the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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