Retail in Asia

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Japan convenience stores struggled from March to May

Retail in Asia 7-11 Japan

Japan’s three major convenience store operators struggled with low profitability in March-May despite record-high sales.

Sales for industry leader Seven-Eleven Japan Co., a core unit of Seven & I Holdings Co., grew 5.4 percent from a year before to ¥1.1 trillion after it revamped its product lineup.

But operating profit inched up only 0.4 percent to ¥58.3 billion as an expansion of outlets led to an increase in costs such as rents.

Rivals FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc. also posted higher sales, but their profits were pressured by increased spending on advertising and opening new outlets.

FamilyMart saw its operating profit fall 10.9 percent to ¥9.2 billion on sales that rose 5.9 percent to ¥517.7 billion. Lawson posted a 10.4 percent decline in operating profit to ¥13.7 billion as its sales increased 3.2 percent to ¥495.8 billion.

Sales at general merchandise stores were weak due to prolonged sluggish clothing sales.

Retail giant Aeon Co. posted a net loss of ¥6.254 billion, the first such loss in seven years for any March-May quarter, as Aeon Retail Co., the group’s general merchandise store arm, saw its operating loss expand due to weak clothing sales.

(Source: Japan Times)