Retail in Asia

In Sectors

Japanese convenience store chains go with flow, grow

Japan’s top three convenience store chains last month posted record annual operating profits for the 2011 business year despite the sluggish, disaster-stricken domestic economy.

Convenience store chains in their early years were often seen as mainly targeting young male customers. But the increase of women in the workforce and surge in seniors has led to changed strategies.

In fact, the increase in convenience stores is being fueled by the rise in seniors and female customers, and the chains are gearing their products for them, including more fresh foods, elaborate desserts, women-friendly "bento" boxed lunches and packaged processed foods.