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Do As Tokyo Does Convenience
(Entered Sep. 27, 2004)
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convenienceFeel like some noodles? Have a hankering for a rice ball? How about some dried squid? When the urge hits, where do you go? The 'conbini' of course. While Japanese convenient stores offer slightly healthier fare then their North American counterparts, the food is, after all, still junk, and the taste doesn't exactly help to change your mind. So what exactly is convenient about convenient stores? Certainly not the prices. No, the two points of convenience are: they are open 24 hours, and they are friggin everywhere! Back home the 7-11s and Quickies, are few and far between. The closest one to my house in Canada is about a 20 minute walk. In Japan? I've got six that I can walk to in about 5 minutes with perhaps others waiting to be discovered. 7-11 is the biggest chain in Japan with something like 10,000 stores. Others like Lawson, FamilyMart and AMPM aren't far behind either. Looking at the numbers, a rough estimate would give each store about 1200 customers. Is it any wonder that these companies are starting to lose money? Now you know what convenience means.


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