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Japan-Update

Seven-Eleven becomes first retailer to hit 20,000 stores in Japan

Chain's sales growth in recent years has drawn on female consumers

Seven-Eleven Japan has built its appeal among female customers by expanding its selection of ready-made foods.

TOKYO -- Seven-Eleven Japan surpassed 20,000 convenience stores in January, the company said Wednesday, becoming the first retail chain in the country to cross the milestone.

The Seven & i Holdings unit reported an end-of-month store count of 20,033, up by 54 from the end of December. By comparison, Japan has about 24,000 post offices.

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