Operator of the country's biggest convenience store chain, Seven-Eleven Japan, is all set to roll out smartphone ordering for delivery in as little as two hours.
With Seven-Eleven looking to capitalize on food home delivery demand as online rivals such as Amazon Japan make inroads into the highly competitive field, the move marks a first for the convenience store sector in Japan.
Following a soft launch in October 2017 at 25 stores, in Hokkaido, in northern Japan, the new service, ‘Net Konbini’, the commonly shortened form of "convenience store" in Japanese, plans to reach 7-Eleven's entire Japanese network of around 20,000 stores. By August 2019, the network is expected to be expanded to 1,000 stores in Hokkaido.
Selecting a delivery address and store to choose from 2,800 available products, including Japanese convenience store staples, the service allows users to place orders 24 hours a day.
Company President KazukiFuruya, said, "Using 20,000 stores to immediately deliver any of 2,800 products is a service only Seven-Eleven can provide." Since the company intends to use as drivers the ready workforce of female workers who live near the stores, no difficulties are foreseen in expanding the service nationwide.
In a tie-up between Seven-Eleven and a subsidiary of logistics company Seino Holdings finalized last year, delivery trucks enroute through 7-Eleven outlet areas will pick up orders and drop off purchases to customers. Targeting customers who unable to leave their house or who require rapid delivery, the minimum order value is 1,000 yen ($9.14), with a 216 yen delivery fee, which is waived for orders over 3,000 yen.
The development marks a first for convenience stores, even though supermarkets have begun to home-deliver in Japan. Since 2000, Seven-Eleven has run meal delivery service "Seven Meal". However, the program is limited mostly to the chain's prepackaged foods line, such as lunch boxes. Fresh food delivery is presenting a new battleground for retailers, as Japan's convenience stores expand services to combat steadily falling traffic. Source: Nikkei PWKD16052018
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