TOKYO -- Seven & i Holdings plans to open its first 7-Eleven outlet in Vietnam in 2017, bringing its expertise in running Japan's most successful convenience store chain to the Southeast Asian country.
U.S. subsidiary 7-Eleven recently signed a licensing agreement with Seven System Vietnam.
Even though most overseas 7-Eleven stores are managed by the U.S. subsidiary, Seven & i Holdings seeks to expand in Vietnam by applying a business model cultivated at home. Seven-Eleven Japan, the No. 1 player in Japan's convenience store market, will dispatch four employees to Vietnam to help local staffers develop unique products, such as lunch and prepared foods, and choose store locations.
Seven & i Holdings will also help develop a distribution network that enables shipping of products at optimal temperatures.
There are about 38,000 7-Eleven stores outside Japan, including in Southeast Asian nations such as Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.
A country with about 92.5 million people, Vietnam's economy is booming, but convenience stores are still largely confined to Ho Chi Minh City, which has only about 400. Two other Japanese chains were in operation as of the end of February, FamilyMart with 71 stores and Ministop with 17.