Recently the NHK News On-line reported the following:
セブンーイレブン 店舗数が２万超へ 国内小売業で初
The number of stores in Seven Eleven, the largest convenience store company had a perspective of going beyond 20,000 within this month as a domestic retail trader. Amidst the rapid spread of net catalog selling, it was assumed that a fine store network was needed to be pursued as competition became severe, and also the policy in future was to diligently open new stores.
According to Japan Seven-Eleven the number of its domestic stores was 19,979 as at the end of last month, and as it was set to open new stores, there was a prospect in going beyond 20,000 stores within this month. According to a group in the business, it was the first time for a retail store of the same brand to exceed 20,000 stores in the country.
It was point out that in the world of convenient stores the number of stores, including other major companies put together was over 55,000 and was nearing a saturation point; also as net catalog selling in Amazon as well as others were expanding rapidly, the competition had become severe.
Seven Eleven, in face of the spreading of the catalog selling, in working towards reducing the re- delivery, had made use of the store as a base where it was possible to receive the parcels 24 hours a day; in addition, while aging was developing, commodities delivery etc. were made to elderly households; for the purpose strengthening the service it would be their policy to open new stores aggressively in future.
Also, in the convenience store industry, to secure part-time job employee was difficult; how to get over the labor shortage in face of store network expansion would be a problem.
It seems that convenience stores in Japan are changing while coping with the needs of the markets.