Lawson arch upbeat about turnaround

Lawson Inc new boss and arch handling officer Sadanobu Takemasu poses for a print in front of a company’s preference store in Tokyo yesterday. (Reuters photo)

TOKYO: Japanese preference store sequence user Lawson Inc expects a abroad business to spin essential in a subsequent business year, led by enlargement in China, where it entered 20 years ago yet has been struggling so far.

Sadanobu Takemasu, who became boss and arch handling officer yesterday, also pronounced in an talk with Reuters that a association would accelerate abroad store openings this business year.

The bulk of a enlargement would come in and around Shanghai, where he expects a series of stores to double to 1,000 over a subsequent 3 years.

Lawson non-stop a initial store in China in 1996, yet it has not been means to transplant a success in Japan. Lawson preference stores in China now series around 690.

“We have finally surfaced 500 stores in Shanghai area. In preference store business, once we pass that scale, things start to change, including attribute with suppliers and skill developers,” Takemasu said.

Lawson has formerly foresee an handling detriment of 2.9 billion yen ($26.4 million) for a abroad operations in this business year finale in Feb 2017.

Lawson lags distant behind a competitors overseas.

There are over 40,000 Seven-Eleven stores globally outward Japan. FamilyMart Co has about 5,900 stores overseas, including 3,000 in Taiwan.

Lawson has usually 790 stores outward Japan. In further to China, it has stores in Indonesia, Thailand, a Philippines and Hawaii.

Takemasu pronounced a association was looking for opportunities to enter other Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam and Malaysia.

He also pronounced that a association was study possibilities of opening stores in Europe and a mainland United States, yet it has no specific devise during this moment.

Takemasu, 46, began his career during Mitsubishi Corp, that owns over one-third of a company.

Asked about consumer perspective in Japan, Takemasu pronounced he couldn’t take an confident perspective towards consumer spending, citing doubt surrounding a economy.

Amid temperate consumer spending, however, a preference store attention is bucking a altogether trend. Lawson’s same-store sales in Apr rose 1.5% from a year earlier.

“Convenience store sales are not so supportive to altogether mercantile trends,” Takemasu said. 

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