Monday, August 29, 2011

7-Eleven: God of Convenience Stores

In America, there is at least one 7-Eleven in your town. Sheesh, there are over 8,000 franchised stores in the country! I know there are at least two in my hometown (that I can think of). If you're American, you should have a pretty good idea of what convenience stores are like. 7-Eleven operates the same as any other convenience store you'll encounter in the good ol' USA.

In Japan, there are nearly 13,000 7-Elevens! In Tokyo alone, over 1,000 stores! As you can see from the picture above, the company also goes by a different name: 7 & I Holdings. In fact, the 7 & I Holdings company bought the US branch of 7-Eleven back in 2005.

The big thing about 7-Eleven, and Japanese convenience stores in general, is how they differ from American convenience stores. In Japanese stores, you can find (in addition to everything available in the US): large varieties of electronics, seasonal gifts, adult entertainment, books, ATMs, toiletries, hard alcohol, etc. In addition, they have clean public restrooms and large parking lots where drivers can relax during a long trip. Now you may be saying, "Nick, 7-Eleven also has many of these things." The difference is in atmosphere and volume. Visit one and you'll understand.

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