The Word Works

Consuming Japan


Japanese CVS reinventing the corner store

Published By: wordworker on 04/17/06
Categories: Consumers Marketing

In a market where CVS are literally almost everywhere, chain owners search for growth is leading them away from the male-oriented fast food that has been their stock in trade to fresh food in small quantities for women and seniors.

imageThe 4/16/2006 morning edition of the Asahi Shimbun frontpages a story about convenience stores. As the chart shown here illustrates, CVS total sales growth (the blue bars) is slowing, and sales growth at existing stores (the red line) has dropped sharply year-on-year. Historically, chain store customers have been 70%  male and heavy consumers of the prepackaged ready to eat or heat and serve food products. In their search for new growth, CVS chain operators are testing new stores that target women and seniors with fresh vegetables and fresh meat, sold in small quantities tailored to the needs of singles, DINKs and empty nesters.


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