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Convenience Store Juggernaut Seven-Eleven Rolls Out Home Delivery

7-Eleven line, Sendai, Miyagi-ken, Japan
Sendai 7-Eleven line after 2011 earthquake / photo by Hitomi

Here is more proof that restaurateurs and convenience stores are moving towards delivery service. On May 12, Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. announced that it will roll out delivery service for its 20,000 convenience stores in its home country of Japan. 

Named “Net Konbini,” konbini being a Japanese abbreviation for convenience store, Seven-Eleven Japan had been testing the service since autumn of last year in the northern island of Hokkaido. It expects a thousand 7-Eleven stores to use the service by August 2019.

“The service allows users to place orders 24 hours a day, selecting a delivery address and store to choose from 2,800 available products, including Japanese convenience store staples such as rice balls and bento lunch boxes.

The company hopes for an edge in linking its market-leading retail store presence with online reach. "Using 20,000 stores to immediately deliver any of 2,800 products is a service only Seven-Eleven can provide," said company President Kazuki Furuya at a seminar Thursday. He foresees no difficulties expanding the service nationwide, he added, since the company intends to use as drivers the ready workforce of female workers who live near the stores. 

Delivery trucks en route through 7-Eleven outlet areas will pick up orders and drop off purchases to customers, in a tie-up between Seven-Eleven and a subsidiary of logistics company Seino Holdings finalized last year. The minimum order value is 1,000 yen ($9.14), with a 216 yen delivery fee, which is waived for orders over 3,000 yen. The target customers are people unable to leave their house or who require rapid delivery.” —  Nikkei Asian Review ($$) 

Franchise owners in America should be keeping an eye on this service and how it might impact their bottom line. Seven-Eleven Japan’s sister company in America, 7-Eleven Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based parent firm Seven & I Holdings. Co. Ltd., announced before Christmas that it would test delivery for customers who use its smartphone app at a few select Dallas stores as it considers expanding the service nationwide.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email