Amid a decline in the frequency of young people using convenience stores, various convenience store companies are actively working to create incentives for visits. Seven-Eleven Japan is expanding its lineup with new products focused on health, while Lawson is stimulating “purposeful purchases” through the introduction of Korean cosmetics. FamilyMart is exploring new convenience store formats that include clothing and functional stationery. The competition continues as companies strive to identify and cater to future demands.

Lawson aims to attract young women through its collaboration with a Korean cosmetics brand, “&nd by rom&nd.” Launched in March with 25 products, it gained attention on social media before release, selling over 300,000 units in the first three days. This affordable Korean cosmetics line has garnered support from the age group of 10 to 20, leading to a shift in the purchasing demographic for Lawson’s foundation, with the 10-29 age group accounting for 51%, doubling the previous rate. The popularity of Korean cosmetics has influenced consumer behavior in the cosmetics section of Lawson.

Recognizing the decline in visits from the younger demographic, Seven-Eleven responded by establishing the Lab Store Planning Department in the fall of 2022. This initiative involved direct engagement with young people through events and discussions to better understand their values. Insights revealed a preference for protein and low-sugar products, and, in response, a collaboration with Mitsui & Co. resulted in the launch of the “Cycle Me” brand in June. Centered around the concept of “time nutritional science,” the brand offers products suitable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including tea with dietary fiber and snacks containing “L-Theanine” to enhance sleep quality.

These innovative products have been well-received among young consumers nationwide, and Seven-Eleven emphasizes the importance of creating value-added items focused on their strength in food rather than competing solely on price. In November, they introduced coffee made from the rare Jamaican Blue Mountain beans, further exemplifying their commitment to exciting and competitive product development.

FamilyMart President Kensuke Hosomi expressed a proactive approach toward creating a new image for convenience stores in this era of change. FamilyMart held its first large-scale event, “FamilyMart Festival (Famifest),” on November 30 at the National Yoyogi Stadium. The event featured a fashion show, showcasing clothing available in stores, and introduced functional stationery as a new category. Additionally, they proposed rice balls and sweets made from plant-derived ingredients. FamilyMart actively engages in unique initiatives, such as digital signage for advertising and expanding unmanned payment stores.

Despite concerns about saturation in the convenience store industry due to declining birth rates, Lawson’s President Sadanobu Takemasu emphasizes the pursuit of customer convenience amid changing lifestyles and values. The dedication to continuously think about and propose products and services that delight customers, even in small ways, is believed to enhance the future competitiveness of convenience stores.