Japan’s biggest convenience stores including Lawson Inc. and the 7-Eleven chain are benefiting from the deflation, aging population and March 11 earthquake weighing on the nation’s manufacturers and economy.
“Changing demographics and the willingness to spend more for quality at convenience stores are major growth factors,” Takeshi Niinami, president of Lawson, the country’s second- biggest chain, said in an interview. “With the earthquake, the trends are even more obvious.”
Lawson expects record operating profit this year as Niinami’s strategy of focusing on the elderly and housewives adds new customers. The retailer and rivals including Seven & I Holdings Co.’s 7-Eleven chain and Familymart Co. have taken advantage of Japan’s third year of deflation to lower costs while maintaining or raising prices.
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