Japanese C-Store Heats Up Competition in Malaysia

FamilyMart looks to take 7-Eleven and MyNews head on with a new retail concept.

November 12, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysia’s c-store industry is largely dominated by 7-Eleven and MyNews. But there’s a new player in town: Japan’s FamilyMart. The Malaysian Reserve reports that the world’s second-largest c-store chain is redefining its retail concept and gaining more traffic as it expands its offerings and store footprint.

FamilyMart, a franchise owned by QL Resources Bhd, opened its first Malaysian store in 2016. Now, there are about 150—compared with 2,300 7-Eleven and 400 MyNews locations. All three are looking to expand, with FamilyMart aiming to up its count to 300 stores by March 2022.

The Japanese-style konbini (convenience stores) offer fresh food, ready-to-eat and microwavable meals, coffee and soft serve ice-cream. The Malaysian Reserve says that in-store services include: FamiPay for paying bills; FamiLoad for phone top-ups and gaming needs; FamiCashless and FamiLounge, a sit-in area equipped with Wi-Fi, USB charging docks and toilet amenities.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd analyst Jeff Lye Zhen Xiong told the Malaysian Reserve, “FamilyMart has changed the convenience store landscape in Malaysia. It has created a need for fast and fresh food in a convenience store where consumers previously go to these stores for, perhaps, fast-moving consumer goods.”