TOKYO -- Seven & i Holdings will become the first Japanese convenience store operator to move into the Middle East when it opens an outlet in Dubai next summer.
U.S. subsidiary 7-Eleven is expected to sign a licensing agreement with a local company wholly owned by Dubai's royal family. Once the business gets on track, the store network will be expanded to around 100 in three years by soliciting franchisees.
Four employees of Seven-Eleven Japan will be dispatched to Dubai to provide expertise acquired in Japan in such areas as product development and logistics. They will offer support in managing food products that do not keep for long periods and in delivering foods at proper temperatures, for example.
The United Arab Emirates, which Dubai is a part of, has some 400 convenience stores, including Canadian-owned Circle K stores.
Seven & i has its sights set on opening stores in neighboring markets. It hopes to first acquire experience in Dubai, which has relatively high income levels in the Middle East.