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English Español China: Lawson eyes 7,000 new stores openings in five years

The Japanese company plans to double its number of stores from the current 3,000 to 6,000 by 2022, and further grow to reach 10,000 by 2025.

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Japanese convenience store chain Lawson will rapidly expand its footprint in China by opening stores that would target new-economy customers. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Lawson is planning to double its number of stores in China from the current 3,000 to about 6,000 by 2022, and further pursue grow to reach 10,000 locations within the next 5 years.

Lawson’s 10,000 locations in China could “potentially earn an annual operating profit of over 10 billion yen ($95 million)," according to a Lawson executive.

The company’s objective aligns with the Chinese government goal of doubling the number of convenience stores to 300,000 by 2022, with local government authorities filling requests to convenience stores operators to increase the number of outlets.

China, a country that serves as a sandbox for Lawson to pilot new digital innovations, will increasingly adopt a crucial role in sustaining the company’s growth and earnings for the next years amid a slowdown in its home country. The company’s store count in China will most likely surpass the nearly 14,000 outlets it operates in Japan.

Tokyo-based Lawson first entered China in 1996, and it currently operates about 3,000 stores – tripling the number of locations it run back in 2016-2017. The size of its operations places the company as leader among foreign-owned convenience store chains, and in the fifth place including Chinese-owned outlets. Lawson used to directly manage most of its stores until 2014, when it started to actively signed franchise agreements.

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