Bits of Japanese Knowledge

Convenient convenience store


Convenience stores are located alongside the gas stations in the United States. But in Japan, they are like mini-supermarkets that are often seen on street corners. The top three companies, Seven-Eleven Japan, Familymart and LAWSON, account for approximately 80% of the market. Since the 1980s, when the number of dual-income households and single-person households began to increase dramatically, convenience stores have been used even at late night hours.

They sell a wide variety of products, from boxed lunches, side dishes, instant foods, and other food products such as rice, bread and beverages etc., to stationery, daily necessities, magazines, socks, and stockings. The prices are slightly higher than those at large-scale supermarkets, but the convenience of stores in living areas where people could walk or reach by cycle without using car makes them indispensable for daily life in Japan. They are also equipped with Bank ATMs and copiers.