Retail in Asia

In Shops

Lawson in talks to buy China store operators

Lawson Inc, Japan’s second-largest convenience-store chain, is in talks to buy at least three chains in China in its first overseas acquisition as the company looks to faster growing markets to increase sales.

"There will be a huge opportunity to acquire businesses in China," CEO Takeshi Niinami said in Tokyo last week, declining to name any targets. "We are negotiating with more than three or four parties."

Niinami is in discussions with an operator of an 800-store chain and another with 150 in China, to help meet his target of opening 10,000 outlets in the country by 2020. Rival chains are also expanding outside Japan in Asia, where relatively young populations are boosting demand for neighbourhood stores, as demand eases in their home market with a falling population.