I prefer to go to a convenience store rather than a Japanese duty-free shop, whether it’s 7-11, the whole family or Lawson. Whenever I see a convenience store on the street or in the alley, I can’t help but go in.
Convenience stores first appeared in the United States, but in Japan. All the friends who have been to Japan are familiar with 7-11 and the whole family. They must have bought water, hot food, snacks, or some small daily necessities. I bought toothpaste here.
Although convenience stores, unlike duty-free stores, do not appeal to the general public (i.e. tourists), they play an indispensable role in the lives of Japanese people when combined with the convenience of Japanese community life.
In Japan, there are 19,300 7-11 stores, 18,000 family stores and 13,000 Lawson stores, according to the first quarter of 2017. The locations of these convenience stores on a map of Japan are certainly intensive. So why have so many convenience stores been able to survive in the narrow land of Japan and become so popular with the Japanese?
When I went into the convenience store and looked at all the corners and areas, the words came to mind: although a sparrow is small, it has all the features.
Take 7-11 as an example. This is a brand convenience store I often go to in Japan. The area inside the shop is not very big, but much bigger than a lot of private shops, the shelves are many but not miscellaneous, the combination of light and window makes the space extremely bright.
Make a person feel comfortable on the vision at first sight, at the same time the shelf is placed orderly and article classification, let a person find what oneself want in very short time, no matter be eat, drink, still use. The distribution of shopping area, dining area, cashier area and multi-function terminal is reasonable and orderly, which can provide people with the most comfortable shopping experience.
The merchandise is arranged neatly, the dining area is clean and uncrowded, the food is served in a hygienic manner throughout the whole process, and the staff is very polite. If you don’t understand anything, they will try their best to help you.
Take myself as an example. When I was traveling in Japan, breakfast was almost always served in convenience stores, whether it was porridge, sushi, rice balls, soy milk, or coffee.
When ordering coffee in the convenience store for the first time, because it was my own operation, in a confused state, the little sister in the store was very enthusiastic to help me out of the cash register, and told me how to operate. Later, every time I went to the convenience store to order coffee, I always felt grateful to this little sister.
Because the food at the convenience store is so fresh, I usually make my lunch here. There are many choices for lunch, including bento, kanto, sandwiches, cake snacks, salad, fruit, rice balls, Fried chicken and so on. In addition, there are healthy (fitness) options on the food shelf.
Sometimes when you don’t feel like eating the main course at night, come back and buy a healthy meal with a carton of milk.
It is worth mentioning that unlike many convenience stores that offer long-shelf food, Japanese convenience stores not only offer fresh food, but also many products that must be consumed on the same day. Still often according to seasonal change rolls out a series of seasonable bento, sweet wait, no matter be mouthfeel or kind, all do not differ from special eatery. Including many snacks in the store are very delicious, I often buy many for my family to taste before I go back to China.
But convenience stores offer more than just food and variety. Still have on behalf of pay water and electricity bill, print, send and receive express to wait for a service, include buy movie ticket, a few commonly used medicine, cosmetic to wait a collective existence, this for the person that live or work in the vicinity, be humanized simply.
The shop also provides a variety of drinks, wine, whiskey, Japanese wine, soju, cocktails, fruit wine, beer and more is dizzying.
What impressed me was that there were also atms and guest toilets. ATM machines support unionpay cash withdrawal.
Beyond that, this corner of the convenience store is a bright spot: a magazine section devoted to fashion, comics and entertainment magazines. Some magazines can be read directly, and no matter how long they are read, no one will drive them away.
Taken together, you will find that most of the daily needs of Japanese people can be met in a convenience store. Such a rich convenience store of life, not only 7-11, including rosen, whole family or other brands of convenience stores, are done quite humanized, almost toward the ultimate direction of development.
For the Japanese, the convenience store is no longer just a small shop. When Japan was hit by the earthquake, 7-11, rosen and other three convenience store chains will be reopened in a very short time to provide water, vegetables and fruits, as well as the use of toilets and other necessities for the victims of the disaster, which can be said to be a solution to the urgent needs of many people.
Although each trip to Japan is not long, every day in Japan I would go to the convenience store to solve the brunch problem, so I felt inexplicably like such a convenience store, even a little envy. For this reason, the domestic “convenience store” is not convenient at all, perhaps the world only Japanese people can open such a convenience store.
But surprisingly, the 7-11 didn’t go well in China. Why?