China Food

7-Eleven in the post foam era: “Wumart” is more important than “cheap”


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In the depression, hard discount stores rose in the European and American markets, while convenience stores benefited in Japan.
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After the bursting of Japan’s economic foam, in addition to the low-cost fashion represented by Muji and UNIQLO, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven have also successfully crossed the economic cycle. In contrast, the performance of 7-ELEVEN’s parent company, Yokado ITO, has stagnated since 1990. As a subsidiary, the market value of 7-ELEVEN in Japan exceeds that of its parent company.
From 1974 to 2021, the sales volume of 7-ELEVEN in Japan market changed, and the growth accelerated after H20 (2008) (source: セブンㄈレン)
Changes in the number of stores in the Japanese market of 7-ELEVEN from 1974 to 2021 (source: セブンイレンンンムン)
1974-2021 7-Eleven Japan market sales and store quantity data (source: セブンイレンンンムン)
Ito Yokado obtained the franchise right of Southland, Inc. in November 1973, and introduced 7-Eleven into Japan, becoming the first convenience store in Japan. However, up to 1990, the chairman of the United States Southern Company was making a purchase request to Japan 7-Eleven, and the Japanese company acquired 70% of the equity of the United States Southern Company in March 1991.
American Southern Company was born in Texas in 1927. It was originally an American chain ice company; The brand name comes from its business hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (source: Texas State Historical Association)
Why are discount stores popular in major Western markets in the face of a sluggish economy and shrinking purchasing power, while large supermarkets have closed down in the Japanese market, replacing them with convenience stores with higher product quality and higher prices?
Economic growth slows down and the supply of goods is in excess:
Japanese retail market turns from seller’s market to buyer’s market
In fact, after the 1990s, discount stores were not unable to gain a foothold in the Japanese market, but there were huge differences between the supply side and the demand side in the Japanese and American markets. From discount stores to convenience stores, the Japanese retail market could not copy the American model.
Large supermarkets ushered in unprecedented prosperity in Japan in the late 1960s. After the war, Japan’s economy grew rapidly, followed by soaring consumer demand. This period is called the “seller’s market” era. Ito Yokado grew rapidly in the “peak period of large supermarkets”. In 1963, ITO Yokado, which operates a new comprehensive supermarket, employed only about 500 employees; In the 1970s, the company employed more than 1000 fresh students in only one year.
Ito Yokado’s expansion was once resisted by the local store street. At that time, Suzuki minwen, a director of the company, participated in the negotiation between the two parties in September 1971. At that time, people generally believed in “scale”, and Suzuki minwen was committed to “activating existing small retail stores” and realizing “the coexistence and common prosperity of large stores and small and medium-sized retail stores”. Suzuki minwen met the convenience store format of American Southern Company in an overseas research activity organized by the company, introduced it to Japan, and established York seven company.
In order to show the original intention of creating 7-Eleven – to prevent small and medium-sized retailers from being run by large supermarkets, Suzuki minwen insisted on setting the first store of 7-ELEVEN as a franchise store, although if the first batch of stores choose direct sales, it will help to accumulate practical experience. In May, 1974, 7-Eleven Fengzhou store was officially opened as the first convenience store in Japan.
7-Eleven, as the first franchise convenience store in Japan, opened in toyoku, dujiangdong District, Tokyo (source: センㄈレン)
The era of “seller’s market” gives traditional supermarkets the illusion that they can sell well without effort. As long as enterprises complete wholesale and display, they will not worry about sales and do not need the so-called “sales force” to play a role.
In the early 1970s, Japanese social consumption behavior has changed – promotional goods are gradually surplus. Before that, supermarket promotions were always sold out.
The dollar crisis in 1971 and the oil crisis in 1973 made Japan’s economic growth rate turn negative for the first time in the year following the oil crisis, and the high growth of Japan’s economy came to an end after the war. The slowdown in economic growth means that the growth of national consumption capacity slows down, and the post war economic prosperity has led Japanese society from “material shortage” to “material surplus”. Thus, the “seller’s market” gradually transits to the “buyer’s market”.
Suzuki minwen wrote in the philosophy of retail, “Japanese consumers are full of contradictory” two sides “in thinking: even in an era of material abundance, they are unwilling to easily take out their wallets… If the seller cannot rack his brains and use all means to arouse the buyer’s consumption desire, the enterprise will also come to an end”.
In the past, large supermarkets that benefited from the seller’s market closed down one after another because they could not adapt to fierce competition, and 7-Eleven was the representative of “racking their brains”.
“Wumart” is more important than “cheap”:
Private brands have become national brand competitors,
Channel kidnapping brand
In the era of “buyer’s market” under the background of fewer children, the promotion method of “increasing quantity without increasing price” is divorced from the actual needs of Japanese consumers and becomes ineffective. Ito Yokado once promoted black beans by increasing sales, and its performance has not improved. However, after the strategy was changed to weighing by Jin, the sales of black beans soared.
With the increase of single population and the reduction of family size, consumers expect “less quantity and better quality”.
Volume promotion is regarded as forced sales rather than being called a discount. Large supermarkets, restaurants, and taverns are suitable for consumption scenarios with more than two people, most of whom are parents, children, couples, lovers, or friends. At the same time, convenience stores provide dining solutions for singles.  
In 1999, the age of 7-ELEVEN consumers was dominated by 20-30 years old, accounting for 35%, and consumers over 50 years old ranked last with 14%; By 2009, the number of consumers aged 20 to 30 had fallen to 22%, a third less than that in 1999, while the number of consumers over 50 had doubled, accounting for 28%.
In addition, since the promulgation of the law on ensuring equal employment opportunities and treatment for men and women, the employment rate of women in Japan has continued to rise.
The population growth of singles, the elderly and working women makes “purchasing on demand in nearby convenience stores” more attractive than “centralized purchasing in large supermarkets far away”.
Changes in Japan’s social structure from 2004 to 2017 (source: seven & I)
It is worth mentioning that the rise of convenience stores does not mean that other retail formats have evaporated. Suzuki minwen pointed out that consumers in major Western markets show very different consumption behaviors due to class. Middle class and above customers come to high-end department stores for shopping, and the general public patronize shopping malls; Japanese consumers often choose shopping places such as department stores, supermarkets, specialty stores or convenience stores on demand.
Pb (private brand), that is, private brand, is an effective tool for large retailers such as Walmart or hard discount stores such as Aldi to reduce costs in the western market, but in the Japanese market, it has become an innovative strategy for 7-Eleven to pursue product quality and even crush national brands.
7-Eleven created Pb “seven premium” in 2007. The quality and price are similar to or even higher than Nb, breaking the stereotype established by Western head retailers that “the price of Pb products is bound to be more people-friendly than NB”. At the same price, it is sold in three retail channels of 7-ELEVEN convenience store, ITO Yokado supermarket and Chongguang Xiwu department store, becoming a common Pb of seven & I group. Seven premium only covered 49 kinds of food at the initial stage of its establishment. In 2014, it had more than 1700 kinds of food, and by 2019, it had covered 4150 products.
7-Eleven stores began to sell the Pb product seven premium in August 2007 (source: センㄈレン)
7-Eleven store opened seven cafe in January, 2013. The sales price of Pb coffee is 100 yen, with an annual output of 1billion cups (source: センㄈレン)
In 2017, seven premium category has been expanded to daily necessities, clothing, and fresh food (source: seven & I)
Proportion of category revenue (source: セブンイレブン)
The initial concept of seven premium can be traced back to the transformation of iy group into seven & I holding group. At that time, the retail industry was at a low point in the market, and the supply of products far exceeded the demand. In January, 2005, in the face of the decline of ITO Yokado, Suzuki minwen proposed to restructure and establish a holding group, seven & I holding group, which was established in September of the same year, including seven business segments, including convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, department stores and so on.
Because the products are “unsalable”, the “sales force” has become the key to the survival of enterprises.
The price of “golden bread” launched by seven premium is 250 yen, which is more than 50% higher than the price of Nb bread and twice the price of traditional Pb products. However, the sales of golden bread exceeded 650000 two weeks after its launch, and this number climbed to 15million four months later.
In fact, long before the birth of seven premium, the price of “golden salmon rice ball” and “salmon roe rice ball” launched by the company in 2001 was 160 yen and 170 yen respectively. Although the absolute price was not high, it was really high for convenience stores. At that time, the macro-economy was poor, and all walks of life were in the dilemma of sharply reducing prices. In McDonald’s half price promotion activities on weekdays, hamburgers are only sold for 65 yen; Yoshinoya’s beef covered rice was reduced from 400 yen to 280 yen. The price of rice balls launched by convenience stores is generally fixed at around 100 yen.
7-the reason why eleven abandoned the low price strategy and practiced “quality first” in the research and development of Pb products is to avoid a fierce price war. Suzuki minwen thus cut into the “blank market”, “if 60% of customers attach importance to price, then the vast majority of sellers are willing to choose to sell low-cost products. As a result, 90% of sellers are providing products for 60% of customers… Creating new product value can avoid the market that 90% of sellers are fiercely competing for”.
It is reported that seven premium contributed 80billion yen in sales to 7-Eleven within one year after its launch, which has increased to 490billion yen in 2012. By 2020, the cumulative revenue of seven premium has reached 10 trillion yen.
Annual revenue changes of seven premium from 2007 to 2016 (source: seven & I)
Changes in annual revenue of seven premium from 2014 to 2020 (source: セブンㄈレン)
In 2010, 7-Eleven further launched seven gold, a high-end Pb product.
Changes in seven gold’s revenue from 2012 to 2015 (source: seven & I)
As of 2021, the company’s PB product line includes seven premium, seven gold, seven cafe, and seven premium lifestyle (source: seven premium)
Since 2017, seven premium fresh has appeared as an independent Pb product line of 7-ELEVEN (source: seven & I)
It is generally believed in the Japanese retail industry that the brands indicating the manufacturers are not classified as Pb. However, seven premium cooperates with Nb’s head manufacturer and marks the supplier’s name on the product package. The Pb product developed by 7-Eleven based on “quality first” has made it a competitor of Nb. 7-Eleven not only acts as a “referee” but also strives to be a “player”. This may be the main reason why Japanese convenience stores “kidnap brands through channels”.
Consumers’ demand for “quality first” in the consumption scene of convenience stores may be related to “cheap self reward”. Japanese media once attributed the sharp decline in catering performance to the prosperity of convenience stores, “the catering industry was robbed of customers by convenience stores”. Convenience stores replace restaurants, and “xiaokuaixing” can make up for huge losses at a very small cost.
In fact, Professor Hezi once pointed out that “loss aversion” drives “spontaneous consumption” and “self rewarding consumption”. Niu wahui believes that spontaneous consumption and self rewarding consumption may mean that people have moved from the era of “shopping” to the era of “shopping” – shopping is an entertainment activity.
On the supply side, the reason why Pb can become a competitive product of Nb is largely due to the excellent supply chain capability of 7-ELEVEN. The company first established NDF in 1979, and its members only produce goods for 7-Eleven. This unprecedented mode can ensure that 7-Eleven monopolizes the production technology.
In addition, because it is difficult for sharing manufacturers to avoid cross contamination between downstream brand products, NDF can implement unified standards in food material procurement and quality management to ensure production health and safety. As of February 2021, the company has 180 proprietary manufacturers within the NDF system in Japan, accounting for 92.2% of all suppliers.
It is worth noting that 7-Eleven does not invest in any NDF plant or production equipment. Avoid becoming a “close partner” — keeping a little tension on the basis of trust can ensure that manufacturers can strictly examine product development and achieve excellent manufacturing processes.
On the demand side, the reason why Pb can become a competitive product of Nb may be related to the more “unified” consumption pattern in Japan than in western countries after the 1990s. Yuanqi capital previously mentioned that throughout history, Japanese society has not never seen “diversified” consumption, but the perverse personality of the foam generation has been completely wiped out by the depression caused by the sluggish economy. However, Suzuki minwen attributed the “unified” consumption of Japanese society to its smaller gap between the rich and the poor than that of major western countries, as well as the converging level of universal education in the context of the compulsory education system. The author believes that the loyalty of citizens to the collective in the context of Japanese culture may also be one of the driving factors of “unified” consumption.
“The more delicious things are, the easier they get bored”:
Unsalable products create the illusion of prosperity,
The growth rate of information dissemination shortens the product life cycle
In the era of oversupply and saturated consumption in the buyer’s market, compared with affordable prices, whether products have added value is the key to determining consumers’ willingness to buy. People who “hold tight their wallets” have extremely passive consumption desires. In order to arouse consumer desire, new product research and development are emerging in endlessly.
The rapid iteration of products may give people the “illusion of prosperity” of diversified consumer demand and booming Japanese economy, but it is actually the result of unsalable products.
As Suzuki minwen said, “the more delicious things are, the more likely they are to get bored… The real competitor is the rapidly changing customer needs”. 7-Eleven constantly updates the food with high consumption frequency, such as Bento, rice balls and bread, in terms of taste. Similarly, 80% of francfrancfranc’s consumers are “regular customers”. In order to avoid people’s boredom, the brand updates the layout of products or consumption places every two weeks. As of 2015, Japanese Fashion home brand francfrancfranc has updated about 30% of its products every year, while 7-Eleven has updated 70% of its products every year.
Changing consumer demand makes consumers “like the new and hate the old”. In this regard, Professor Kazuo Uchida of Waseda University School of business attributed the shortening of product life cycle to the acceleration of information dissemination and the improvement of consumers’ ability to obtain information. “
Suzuki minwen uses “Fujiyama type”, “tea can type” and “pencil type” to describe the changes in the length of the product life cycle from the peak of the seller’s market to the buyer’s market.
In the 1960s, due to the long life cycle of “Mount Fuji” products, supermarkets had plenty of time to adopt the imitation strategy and develop products according to the sales status of department stores, even if the timing fell behind; After the bursting of Japan’s economic foam in the 1990s, the product life cycle has changed into a “tea can type”, and the retail industry has entered the era of the buyer’s market. Only by strengthening publicity can it succeed; Since then, the product life cycle has been further shortened and evolved into a “pencil” – the iteration speed of popular products has accelerated, and the imitation strategy will generate huge opportunity costs. As consumer demand rapidly climbed to the peak in a short time, and then fell to the bottom, businesses did not develop products on a large scale until consumer demand hit the peak, which inevitably led to missed opportunities for enterprises, and then led to unsalable products.
Therefore, exploring the “future needs” of consumers is the key to capture consumer demand. In order to avoid the opportunity cost caused by missed opportunities and reduce the cost loss caused by unsalable products, the company “strikes while the iron is hot” to increase the publicity of popular products and immediately eliminate unsalable products whose life cycle has ended.
Convenience stores are often regarded by the media as “the culprit in shortening the product life cycle”. However, convenience stores do not have the decision-making power to control the life cycle of retail products. 7-even products change frequently, or it is the result of the “pencil” product life cycle change, not the cause.
Qiu Yuankang interpreted the essence of “sales force” in this way, “the core charm of the retail industry lies in the innovation of constantly breaking the ‘pre-determined harmony’, which makes consumers expect ‘Oh, what’s new surprise next time'”.
Although the changes are extremely frequent, the product development of 7-ELEVEN is not blind. In the era of oversupply buyer’s market, it is useless to face low desire consumers and ask about their consumption demand. Before witnessing the finished product, the respondents often differ in words and deeds. In order to capture the “needs of tomorrow” of consumers, it is very important to “assume” and “verify”.
7-Eleven stores place orders every morning for the next day, so it is necessary to speculate on potential best-selling products. This assumption is not based on imagination, but on forward-looking information such as existing sales data, weather and activities of the next day. Although POS (point of sales) provides consumers with past data rather than future data, this system aims to verify whether assumptions are correct, thus making “single product management” possible.
As mentioned above, even if the slow-moving products are eliminated, the upgrading has not brought a huge SKU to 7-Eleven. “Selected products”, that is, “recommended products”, thus eliminating the energy of consumers to choose, become a “life solution” and a service.
Convenient changes:
7-how can eleven become a “living infrastructure”
In fact, in addition to the outstanding quality of the product itself, the effective way for retailers to provide consumers with “added value” to awaken their consumption desire also lies in “service”.
From ATM withdrawal, free wireless network, to copying documents and collecting public utility fees, how does 7-Eleven determine when and where to provide which service items? The choice of service items depends on how to define “convenience”. What supports the expansion of 7-ELEVEN’s service items over the years is the change of consumers’ convenience needs.
7-Eleven is new to the Japanese market, and longer business hours are convenient. 7-Eleven mainly promotes 24-hour business, and sets slogan as “it’s great to be still open”. Since the 1980s, more and more Japanese young people and office workers regard 24-hour convenience stores as “another refrigerator of their own”; After the foam economy with sufficient supply, it is difficult for consumers to compromise product quality. 7-Eleven develops products based on “quality first”.
As the aging problem intensifies, the elderly population with inconvenient travel and living alone increases. In 2000, 7-Eleven launched seven meal delivery service to deal with the shopping inconvenience of vulnerable groups.
7-Eleven’s meal delivery service is not limited to special groups. “Easy delivery” is usually delivered to the door by resident employees dispatched by the store nearest to the consumer’s residence. Singles and people living alone have soared, “warmth” has become a consumer demand. “Familiar faces” can eliminate consumers’ doubts about the quality of distribution products. This “sense of security” enables distribution services to go beyond the simple “convenience” function, and strengthening trust helps to promote consumer behavior.
In 2001, iy bank began to operate, and the handling fee paid when withdrawing from the account of financial institutions is the main source of income of ATM in 7-Eleven stores. However, the original intention of 7-ELEVEN to launch ATM is not to “enter the banking industry”, and providing convenience is the ultimate goal. At that time, the Bank of Japan closed its business at 3 p.m. on weekdays. In addition, financial institutions gave people the stereotype of “being disheveled and not allowed to enter or leave at will”. A “narrow sense bank without financing business” opened a 24-hour convenience store close by, 7-Eleven, which allows consumers to withdraw without worrying about clothes and time. “The existing bank is car rental, while the bank established by 7-Eleven is bus”.
The establishment of ATM has brought more derivative effects than expected to stores, and most consumers who come to withdraw will shop “by the way”. In fact, the services for store drainage also include the seven spot free WiFi provided by the group in the stores of 7-ELEVEN, ITO Yokado, Chongshang Xiwu and Denny’s in the 23rd District of Tokyo in 2011.
In 2009, 7-Eleven replaced the initial positioning of “a store that brings convenience to customers” with “close convenience”, believing that with the further deterioration of aging and child shortage, consumers are unable or unwilling to go to further shopping places.
For consumers, current surprises will quickly become commonplace in the future. Therefore, for retailers, it is not easy to provide added value of products, “surprise making” must be persistent. In order to meet the changing needs of consumers, the company provides convenient services such as collecting utilities such as water, electricity and coal, paying taxes and copying certificates. 7-Eleven has thus become the “living infrastructure” of Japanese residents.
Suzuki minwen believes that Japan’s economic situation is severe and the consumer market is difficult to recover. Therefore, “self-service” needs to be changed into “hospitality oriented service”, and 7-Eleven should change from “waiting operation” to “offensive operation”.
Intensive site selection strengthens cognition,
“No communication means no existence”
Since the opening of the first store, 7-Eleven has always implemented the strategy of “intensive site selection”. It is reported that Suzuki minwen once asked market development personnel to “not step out of Jiangdong District” in store location.
The reason why Suzuki minwen insists on laying network stores close to the business district is first of all to strengthen consumers’ brand awareness. “The degree of cognition is linked to the degree of trust, which can promote the willingness to consume”. Suzuki minwen has no doubt about the “explosion point” – once the display scale of a single item reaches a critical point, consumer awareness instantly forms, and consumer willingness reaches its peak. Publishers usually set a first print volume of more than 10000 copies for publications with selling points. Books can improve consumer awareness in a short time by increasing their exposure through sales channels, supplemented by media rendering, thereby triggering the “explosion point” of consumer behavior.
In addition, the scattered opening of stores nationwide is obviously not conducive to improving the production, distribution and management efficiency of small-scale convenience stores. The higher the concentration of stores, the more special-purpose factories nearby, and the easier it is to show scale benefits. In order to ensure the freshness of food, 7-Eleven only opens stores in the area within 3 hours’ drive from the special factory; At the same time, the efficiency of logistics distribution also increases with the increase of store density.
Although 7-Eleven adopts the franchise model with extremely fast expansion speed and great difficulty in quality control rather than the opposite direct sales model, it has made great efforts in the management of franchise stores to ensure the implementation of the headquarters’ business policy. Store operation consultants (OFC) from all over the country, the communication medium between the company’s headquarters and franchise stores, gathered at the regular “regional consultant meeting” held every two weeks. With the shortening of store distance, the moving time of store management consultants who aim to improve the performance of franchise stores between stores is also reduced, and the management efficiency is improved.
Therefore, the number of 7-ELEVEN stores has increased to 100 within two years of entering the Japanese market, while it took us southern company 15 years to reach this number.
In order to improve “sales force”, design as a tool to strengthen brand communication ability can not be ignored. Products and services can present individual excellence, while design can shape the overall image of 7-ELEVEN and convey brand value. After being invited to be in charge of brand design, Sato Keshi said, “the most indispensable thing in brand design is the philosophy flowing on the basis… No communication equals no existence”.
Similar to the design, the significance of dense location is not only to improve efficiency, but also as an important tool for information transmission.
The high penetration rate of e-commerce in China limits the market capacity of convenience stores, and the family consumption scene and automobile culture make the retail industry coexist in multiple modes
There are similarities and differences between China’s current retail market and Japan’s past retail market.
In Japan, convenience stores thrive at the expense of the interests of large supermarkets and catering enterprises. In China, it is doubtful whether convenience stores can form a run on large supermarkets and catering enterprises. The single population, the elderly population, and the working female population in Japanese society have increased, and the family size has shrunk. Compared with “centralized purchasing in large supermarkets far away”, “purchasing on demand in nearby convenience stores” is obviously more attractive. However, this logic is based on the offline scenario, on the premise that the Japanese market is far lower than China’s e-commerce penetration.
Comparison of penetration rates of grocery retail e-commerce in various countries in 2018/19 (source: Financial Times)
The reason why the penetration rate of China’s grocery retail e-commerce far exceeds that of Japan is that at different stages of development, before the popularity of smart phones, the efficiency of Japan’s offline retail system has been extremely high, and the online business model is difficult to shake the existing offline enterprises.
The high penetration rate of online grocery retail channels means that Chinese consumers can buy groceries through online channels even if they have no desire to spend on large supermarkets farther away. In fact, China’s convenience stores are not only facing alternative choices in the field of groceries, such as large supermarket delivery services with richer categories and more convenient receipt, as well as online supermarkets, but also facing the alternative choice of booming takeout in the field of catering. In addition to the breakfast consumption scenario, ordering on takeout platforms such as “hungry” is cheap and has multiple categories, while the delivery service makes the convenience store lose its “convenience” advantage.
It is true that the single population in China’s first and second tier cities has increased, and the demographic trends of fewer children and aging are beginning to appear. But up to now, there are still many consumption scenes in suburban and sunken markets, and automobile culture is becoming more and more popular. With the continuous improvement of consumers’ expectations for product quality, the new generation of large supermarkets can achieve rapid growth.
Compared with Japanese convenience stores, Chinese convenience stores have extremely limited ability to “carve up” large supermarkets and catering markets. This determines that Chinese retail formats tend to “coexist in multiple modes”, while convenience stores are only a part of the “vertical” format.
The intersection of the Chinese and Japanese retail markets is that it is difficult for consumers to compromise quality. However, in Japan, the driving factors driving this phenomenon include the lost economic prosperity – consumers unable to make concessions to product quality during the foam economy period of material prosperity, and the added value of products provided by enterprises to deal with unsalable products; In China, this phenomenon is driven by years of high-speed economic growth and the resulting increase in national consumption capacity – at least before the latest outbreak of the epidemic this year.
It is worth noting that the increased purchasing power has not only raised the expectations of Chinese consumers for product quality, but also increased their consumer demand for Nb, that is, national brands. However, the latest epidemic may break this trend. Yuanqi capital previously mentioned that since this year, Chinese residents’ deposits have increased significantly and their willingness to consume has declined.
Although the consumption capacity has been greatly weakened, Chinese consumers’ expectations for product quality have not decreased after the period of economic growth with abundant materials. If the economic growth slows down further, “excess supply” may accelerate China’s retail market into the “buyer’s market era”. Enterprises cannot rely on simple low price strategy to survive. Only by accurately capturing consumer demand and increasing the “added value” of corresponding products can they improve their “sales force”.
When Suzuki minwen first entered the American convenience store, 7-Eleven sold sandwiches, hot dogs and other ready to eat products of American citizens. The differences in food culture make it impossible for the Japanese market to copy the American model. Instant products, including rice balls, bentos and other rice products, sandwiches, pastries and other bread products, Chinese cold noodles, pasta and other pasta products, Kanto cooking, steamed stuffed buns and other hot products, are all unique original products of 7-ELEVEN in Japan – Pb in a broad sense.
Suzuki minwen is determined to “change from homely taste to taste that is difficult to realize at home”, follow the principle of “developing products with high added value”, and put an end to the business attitude of “as a convenience store, this taste is barely passable”.
Because it is unsalable, it is refined.
However, when entering the Chinese market, Japanese convenience stores copied the Japanese model and made far less efforts in product research and development and localization innovation than the Japanese market. The continuous emergence of local convenience stores in China may break this comfort.
reference material:
[1]铃木敏文. 2015. 零售心理战. 江苏文艺出版社.
[2]铃木敏文. 2014. 零售的哲学. 江苏文艺出版社.
[3]セブンイレブン. 2022. 売上高、店舗数推移. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 June 2022].
[4]セブンイレブン. 2022. セブン-イレブンの「強さ」の原点 商品力. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2022].
[5]セブン&アイ. 2017. セブン&アイの挑戦. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2022].
[6]Financial Times. 2020. Coronavirus: Southern Europe discovers digital shopping. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 June 2022].

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