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Japanese Companies by Industry

Convenience Stores

Japan abounds with 24h/7days convenience stores. They can be found almost every 100m in big cities and cluster around every train or subway station. The most famous chains are :

7 Eleven

Founded in 1927 in Dallas, Texas, under the name of Tote'm, 7-Eleven got his present name in 1946. It opened its first branch in Japan in 1973.
7-Eleven is now the undisputed leader in convenience retailing with more than 24,000 stores operating in 18 countries, among which more than 10,000 are in Japan.


Lawson started operating in Osaka in 1975 as a subsidiary of the Daei supermarket group.
It counted 7,821 on 29 February 2004, spread over Japan's 47 prefectures and Shanghai (China).

Family Mart

Established in 1981, Family Mart had over 6,000 branches in Japan and more than 4,500 abroad - mostly in South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand - by February 2004.

SunKus & Circle K

Planned for merger on 1 September 2004 under the name Circle K Sunkus, both companies were founded in Nagoya in 1980.
As of February 2004, Sunkus had 3,271 stores in 31 prefectures, while Circle K had 2,941 stores in 25 prefectures.
Sunkus is particularily strong in Kanto with 1,265 stores, while Circle only has 191. The situation is reversed in the Tokai-Chūbu region, where Circle K has 2,083 (847 in Aichi only) branches against 282 for Sunkus. Also note the absence of Circle K in Kyushu and Hokkaido.

Daily Yamazaki

Daily Yamazaki opened its first store in Tokyo's Toshima-ward in 1977. It counted 2048 branch stores in 2003. Its presence is strongest in Kanto, Kansai and Kyushu.


Also founded in 1980, Ministop had 1,630 stores in Japan (among which 858 in Kanto), 911 in China and 99 in the Philippines by June 2004.


A fairly newcomer, AM PM came into existence in 1990. It developped quickly and reached 1,365 branches by March 2003.
AM PM dominates the business area around Nihombashi in Tokyo, where virtually no other "combini" can be found. AM-PM distiguish itslef with its selection of ready-made warm dishes.

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