Tuesday, July 01, 2008

No late night stores in Japan?

Round the clock convenience stores have been struggling with decreasing sales and slow growth and might have another hurdle to cross, that of government's decision to close stores that operate late at night. In places such as Saitama, close to Tokyo, stores are urged to close late at night to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Kyoto also is working to convince its 24-hour stores to shut down late at night so as to improve the evening views and reduce energy consumption.

The industry has strongly opposed the closure as it feels it will negatively impact the sector that is already faced with a high tobacco tax that has hit sales. According to Toshiro Yamaguchi, President of Seven-Eleven Japan, "Even if we only operate the stores for 16 hours, we can't stop the refrigerators." Adding that reduction in working hours would reduce their store's profit margin by 20%.

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