TOKYO—Seven & i Holdings, which operations 7-Eleven stores in Japan, will debut delivery across the country by 2026, Nikkei Asia reports. The chain will bring dairy products and food to homes in 30 minutes from one of its 20,000 stores beginning in 2026.
The announcement comes as Japan’s c-store market slumps, with sales dropping 6.1% in 2020, the first drop since 1981. During the same year, Japan’s e-commerce skyrocketed 22%, fueled by at-home consumption. As a result, last year e-commerce sales outperformed convenience store sales for the first time.
Seven & i sees delivery as pushing growth. Currently, around 550 stores in Tokyo, Hokkaido and Hiroshima Prefecture offer home delivery. Those stores make a handful of deliveries per day, which the company hopes to raise to 15 or more with the expansion. “Stores are not only a place to buy products but also a place to store inventory,” said President Ryuichi Isaka. “The service can be expanded in a short time without capital investment.”
Consumers will be able to place an order online or via an app, with about 3,000 food and dairy products available. The delivery will run until 11 p.m. and have a minimum order amount, plus a delivery fee. Seven & i will contract delivery with local companies. The company currently has partnerships with 10 so far. In the United States, the average 7-Eleven shopper shells out $14.50 on delivery orders, 1.7 times higher than in-store purchases.
Rival chain Lawson already provides delivery from 2,000 locations in 32 prefectures of Japan via an Uber Eats partnership. Lawson also plans to increase the number of stores to 3,000 by fiscal year 2022.
Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on last-mile services and technology, including the sessions Meeting Consumers Where They Are—Everywhere on October 5 and Drive-Thru and Curbside: Is This the Future for C-Stores? on October 6.