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Japan Convenience Store

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Recently, in Japan many businesses have been suffering from the great depression that started in the 1990's. However, despite in such a situation, convenience stores are growing and making more profit. Why are they so successful? Japan's convenience stores have a uniqueness that can be summarized into three points: strategy, services and marketing.

First, one can see convenience stores everywhere in Japan. There are "46,134" convenience stores in this country, which is smaller than U.S. This number is remarkable. Compared to the Japan, America's number is "14,4000," which is 25 times larger than Japan. Though people seem to think it is strange, it is a strategy of convenience stores. The main purpose of this strategy is saturating the market. It prevents other new convenience stores from entering this market. In other word, the company that can succeed monopoly is able to get all the benefits from that market. In addition the monopoly can lower the cost. For example, it lowers the shipping cost because the company can ship stocks at one time. In this way, the unique strategy is one of the factors for convenience store's success.

Second, it can be said that the success of convenience stores are resulted from unique services that meet consumer's need. First of all, when people walk into Japan's convenience stores, they are aware of many kinds of goods from food to eye cares. We can buy everything we need in daily life at convenience stores. Especially the most essential item, which is food. Lunch meals, noodle, breads, sandwich and rice balls are on display and they stimulate consumer's desire. Surprisingly each company of convenience stores have their original brand. For example, Lawson, which is a famous and popular convenience store in Japan, has its original sweets brand named "Uchi-Café". These sweets are not inferior to the sweets made by a pastry chef. Also, almost all convenience stores are open for 24 hour in Japan. This makes them more convenient and attractive. Customers are able to buy whatever they want anytime, even the so good sweets as the one professional makes. Japan's convenience stores pursue consumer's needs and they are succeeding thanks to these services.

Finally, unique marketing supports the success of convenience stores. When we go there, we can buy what we really want as I wrote above. Convenience stores don't blindly out lay their commodities. It is not a coincidence, but it is a necessity based on the data. They use one system called "POS-system (point-of-sale)". This system can accommodate the data about what a consumer bought, whom the consumer is, and also when and where the consumer comes. These data enable convenience stores to anticipate how many stocks are needed and which commodity should be picked out. That is to say, they can control all



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